Caroline Lind '06 Prepares For Second Run At Golden Olympic Performance
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
CAROLINE LIND '06
Here are three bullet points on the resumé of Caroline Lind '06:
- 2008 Olympic gold medalist
- rowed on a world record-setting eight (5:54.17)
- stroked arguably the greatest crew in NCAA history (and, inarguably, the 2006 NCAA champion)
As bullet points go, you can't do much better than that.
Lind, a Greensboro, N.C. native who graduated Princeton with a degree in anthropology, has been a key piece in some of the most successful national and international crews of the last six years. She hopes to add even more success next week when she rows with the U.S. women's eight at the 2012 London Games.
And while she will be proudly sporting the Red, White and Blue, the Orange and Black won't be far from her mind.
"It's really great to be able to represent Princeton at the Olympics," Lind said during the USRowing Media Day, held last month at Princeton's Shea Rowing Center. "I owe most of my success to my time here rowing and growing, and it's nice to be able to represent Princeton in a great way."
Her Princeton greatness began in 2004, when she led the Tigers to an EAWRC/Ivy League title. Two years later, she stroked a Princeton boat that took greatness to a new level. The Tiger varsity eight was unbeaten, and basically unchallenged, en route to EAWRC, Ivy League and NCAA championships.
"When I was in that boat, I knew how amazing those women were," Lind says. "I'm not surprised that many of us have gone on to Olympic-level competition. We came together that year as a unit, and we did what we had to do. We achieved our goals."
(This may be a good time to point out that this won't be the last time you hear about that 2006 boat this week. There are two other Olympians from that gold medalist crew, Andréanne Morin '06 and Gevvie Stone '07. Yes, it was a pretty strong group.)
The final goal was accomplished on May 28, 2006, when Lind stroked Princeton to its first NCAA title in the varsity eight. As had been the norm throughout the season, the final wasn't close; on nearby Lake Mercer, Princeton topped California by more than six seconds to cap the perfect season.
The 2006 von Kienbusch (top female senior student-athlete) recipient was far from finished. She helped the U.S. to gold at the 2007 World Rowing Championships, a precursor for what would come the following summer. In Beijing, she rowed in the 7-seat as the U.S. topped the Netherlands by less than two seconds to win the second American gold ever in the Olympic women's eight.
"Crossing the line, wow, it's really emotional just to think about it," Lind remembers from the 2008 Games. "So much hard work goes into crossing that line first. I think the best moment was when we were all together on the medal stand, realizing what we have accomplished together."
She'll be looking for a similar moment on August 2, hours after the gold medal final (12:30 pm London time, 7:30 am EDT). The U.S. will be among the favorites after setting a world record (5:54.17) in the heat at the 2012 Samsung World Rowing Cup stop in Lucerne, an event it would win as a final competitive tune-up for the Olympics.
Lind knows that she could be battling a former Tiger teammate for gold in London. Morin will row in the Canadian W8+ for the third time, and the U.S. topped Canada by only .03 of a second in Lucerne.
"It's exciting," Lind said of that possibility. "I obviously care about her and hope the best for her, and they are an amazing crew. I'm going to give it all I have, and may the best crew win."
The eights will begin competition July 29 with heats (6:50 am EDT), and will follow with the repechage at 5:50 am on July 31. Lind hopes she'll be back in that golden final on August 2, and will continue her amazing run over the last six years with a repeat from Beijing.