GoPrincetonTigers.com will provide profiles, video interviews and
Q&As of each of its eight rowers headed to the London Olympics. See
the schedule below:
Monday: Caroline Lind '06
Tuesday: Robin Prendes '11 l Lauren Wilkinson '11
Wednesday: Sara Hendershot '10 l Sam Loch '06
Thursday: Glenn Ochal '08 l Gevvie Stone '07
Friday: Andréanne Morin '06 l Daily Olympic Schedule
In a sport that relies on teamwork and chemistry as much as any, Gevvie Stone ’07 has learned how to thrive on her own. By doing so, she has become a second-generation Olympian, even if she doesn’t even have a second member in her own boat.
TWITTER l USROWING PROFILE l NBCOLYMPICS PROFILE l 2006 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Sure, Stone has shown plenty of ability in a full boat. She was a member of the historic 2006 NCAA championship boat; she sat just behind Canadian Olympian Andréanne Morin as Princeton routed the field time and again en route to a perfect season.
She has won gold in both the eight and the quad at the World Rowing U-23 Championships, but she has shown a unique ability to perform on her own.
And by finishing third in the single sculls at the 2012 Final Olympic Qualification Regatta, Stone will get the opportunity to show that ability next week in London.
“In terms of rowing the boat, as opposed to rowing a bigger boat, that is the part that I love,” Stone said, comparing rowing singles to any other boat. “The boat is so responsive. When you make a change, and the boat goes faster, you know exactly what it was that made the boat go faster because there are fewer moving parts.”
Stone knows plenty about the sport, because the sport has been part of her life for, well, forever. Her mother, Lisa Stone, competed in the 1976 Montreal Games, and she coaches at the Winsor School, where Gevvie graduated in 2003. Her father, Gregg, is Gevvie’s current coach; Gregg was also an elite American rower, but his Olympic dream was dashed by the Moscow boycott.
Clearly, the sport is in her blood. And it only grew in importance during her four years at Princeton.
“Whether they come for the rowing, or the orchestra, or the molecular biology research, people who go to Princeton want to be at the top of their fields,” Stone said. “So you get driven people at the University. The national team trains in Princeton, so being around the national team and knowing their work ethic and seeing these role models around motivates the current rowers to work harder. And I can only speak for the open women here, but I think Lori [Dauphiny] does an amazing job of pushing almost every athlete to her potential.”
Stone recalled Dauphiny challenging her after a surgery her freshman year, motivating her to get healthy “faster than anyone has gotten healthy before.” While her rehab time may not have made the Guinness Book of Records, it was enough for Stone to be an integral piece on maybe the greatest boat in collegiate rowing history.
She has had to find that same motivation in a variety of places now that she doesn’t have teammates to push her. Whether it is intrinsic motivation, or the few older male rowers who train with her in the mornings because they still love the sport, Stone has found the will and drive, while also going through medical school, to make her Olympic dream come true.
That dream was realized on May 23, when she needed a top-four finish in the final qualification race in Lucerne, Switzerland, to clinch the Olympic berth. She was fifth through the first 500 meters, but she moved past both Ireland and Estonia to grab third by the midway point. While she never moved from that third position, she never needed to; her lead over fifth-place Serbia was great enough that she was never challenged late for the Olympic bid.
“In the final, I was able to put all the pieces together,” she said. “It was one of my better races, and I was fully exhausted. It wasn’t until I had a minute to catch my breath that I began to realize what it all meant, and to really get excited about going to London.”