July 2, 2012
Michigan at the Olympics
A veteran international rower, Sarah Trowbridge (2003-05) will get her first crack at an Olympic medal later this month in London. The three-time Michigan letterwinner has participated in two FISA World Championships and the Pan-American Games and says that those experiences will certainly help her in her first Olympic Games.
Congratulations on being named to your first Olympics. What was the feeling like when you won the final Olympic qualification regatta and knew you had punched your ticket to London?
"You know, I have been training for the Olympics for six years and dreaming of it for 22. Although I felt determined and confident in our speed, the moment I crossed the line, I was in shock. In seven minutes I went from years of being an Olympic hopeful to being an Olympian. My partner, Margot, was cheering and slapping me on the back, while I was wide eyed and in disbelief that it was finally time for London."
You've had a pretty successful international career to this point, how will those experiences help you at the Olympics?
"Every world championship has had a different tone to it, different obstacles and different outcomes from which I literally walk away thinking, 'oh, so that's what happens.' Because of those experiences, I have better control of my performance by realizing that I have less control of my circumstances. But I also think holding on to that feeling you had when you first started your sport -- that excitement you felt when you were a little clueless but went in swinging at any opportunity -- is a key component to having your best race."
What will the schedule be like for you leading up to the games?
"We will train very, very hard for the remaining time and then taper a bit so we're in an optimal position to perform. It will basically be like running up a mountain and then catching your breath before you walk to the edge to take a look."
What's next for you after these Olympic Games?
"After London I plan to sleep in for at least two years -- you know us rowers, always getting up at the crack of dawn. Other than that, I would like to coach either abroad with a national team or collegiately here in the states. I have an itch to get out of the world of rowing and try my competitive nature in a different arena, but I have no specific plans on what that job would be. So, if anyone is looking for a new CEO or director of marketing, hit me up."
We understand that your partner, Margot Shumway, is a former Buckeye. How did you two connect?
"When I first walked into my elite rowing program's locker room at Potomac Boat Club, I was disturbed by the fact that weeks after NCAAs I was sharing lockers with rowers from all over the country. Girls I had just been lined up against from UVA, OSU and Brown were now sitting in front of me in the boat. Margot and I quickly learned that to be the best in the world, it was going to be a lot easier if we rowed with the best from each university. Plus we find each other incredibly hilarious, and humor is for sure the best way to understand people from Ohio. Now it's about Big Ten love."