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Vol. LXII, No. 31
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
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POWER STROKE: Caroline Lind pulls hard from the stroke position in helping the Princeton University women’s open boat to the championship in the 2006 NCAA title race. Next month, Lind will utilize her power for the U.S. women’s eight as it competes in the Beijing Summer Olympics.

PU Alum Lind Looking for Legendary Effort as She Rows on U.S. Women’s 8 at Olympics

Bill Alden

She was the senior superstar of the 2006 Princeton University women’s open crew but Caroline Lind wasn’t a cool customer as the boat hit the water at Lake Mercer for the NCAA championship race.

“I was so nervous; the first thing I remember is that I couldn’t eat breakfast that day,” said Lind.

“I tried to eat a bagel and cream cheese and I could eat just half the bagel. I remember being in the race and being up a boat length and still being so exhausted and thinking like push harder, push harder.”

Lind helped push Princeton to a stirring triumph as it pulled away from Cal to culminate its undefeated season with the national crown.

Next month, Lind will be looking to push the U.S. women’s eight to greatness as it competes in the Beijing Summer Olympics.

While Lind has excelled in pair competition this season, she is thrilled to make her Olympic debut in the women’s eight.

“The eight is always my goal; I think it is a priority of the team so it was really important to me,” said Lind.

“I was extremely excited to learn I was on the team. I felt overwhelmed but it was great.”

Lind got off to a great start in rowing when she took up the sport during her sophomore year at Phillips Academy after breaking her nose playing softball.

“I switched halfway through the season,” recalled Lind, a native of Greensboro, N.C.

“I made the first boat and we won the New England Championships. I made the junior national team that year. I took to it right away; it was wonderful. My mom is saying thank God for that ball breaking your nose because look at where you are now.”

Lind wouldn’t be heading for the Olympics without the instruction and support she received from Princeton women’s open head coach Lori Dauphiny.

“I think Lori made a huge difference,” asserted Lind, who also looked at the University of Virginia, Stanford and Michigan when making her college choice.

“I met with all the coaches but she really clicked with me the most. I felt the most comfortable with her and what she wanted to do and what I wanted to do. I thought she could get me where I needed to be and she did.”

It was a gradual process for Lind and her classmates as they rose up the ladder of the college rowing world.

“I was on the first varsity starting with my freshman year,” said Lind. “We went from eighth to fourth to second to first in my four years. It was definitely always a goal; there was a lot of excitement with all the girls on the team. We are just competitive and ambitious girls and we had a great team to work with. We just would never give up.”

Coming into the spring of 2006, Lind wasn’t sure the boat would reach its ultimate goal.

“I knew we had a great team but you never know how things are going to shake out,” said the 6’0 Lind, who was the stroke for the crew that season.

“As we went through the season, it was like OK, we could really make a statement this year. It became more and more clear that we had the ability to do something legendary. Each race gave us better confidence and certainty that we have the ability. Lori prepared us and we prepared ourselves. We sacrificed when we needed to; we were really ready.”

Now, Lind is confident that the U.S. women’s eight will show a similar level of commitment as it gets ready for Beijing and the rowing competition which is slated for August 9-17.

“I think from now on we are just going to try to forget about everything and forget about the excitement,” said Lind.

“We have developed chemistry, we have all rowed long enough that we are already good friends and good teammates. We know what we have to do. I think we are going to put our heads down and go to work for the next month just like we have been doing the past four years. We want to get prepared and do everything we can.”

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