Winsor alumna Gevvie Stone ’03 is headed to the London Olympics, realizing a dream years in the making.
The world-class rower qualified May 23, racing in Lucerne, Switzerland, at the 2012 Final Olympic Qualification Regatta.
After the U.S. men’s eight, lightweight four and women’s double sculls earned Olympic qualification the day before, she claimed a spot for the U.S. in the women’s single sculls.
“It feels awesome,” Gevvie said, reflecting on the results in a post-race interview with U.S. Rowing. “I’ve dreamt about this for so long. I had a good race out there today. (There were) some really tough competitors, and I’m psyched.”
After falling just short of making the team last summer, finishing 11th at the 2011 World Rowing Championships, she had dedicated herself to achieving her Olympic goal.
“Every day has been, how do I get faster, and how do I make that boat move,” she said. She heads to a World Cup race this weekend, pushing to improve. “I have to get faster every day, and prove to the USA what I can do in London.”
Gevvie talked at length about her journey and the value of resilience with Winsor students in an all-school assembly earlier in the school year, and also shared her story in the Winsor Bulletin this spring.
When she gets to London, she'll become the first Winsor graduate to compete in the Olympics. But she won't be the first in her family. Her mom, Winsor crew coach Lisa Stone, rowed for the U.S. in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Her dad, Gregg Stone, was the nation's top-ranked single sculler as well, though a U.S. boycott kept him from the Moscow Olympics.
"They love that one of their children gets to experience the same things that they did, and feels passionately about the sport that means so much to them," Gevvie told a Reuters news reporter in a recent profile.
The most prominent Olympian with Winsor ties is legendary figure skater Tenley Albright, an alumna but non-graduate. At the 1956 Olympics, she became the first American woman to win an Olympic gold in figure skating and won five U.S. national titles. Winsor alumna Lorraine Hanlon Comanor, who just celebrated her 50th reunion this May, followed in Tenley's footsteps as U.S. ladies' figure skating champion in 1963 and went to the Worlds twice, but retired from skating before the 1964 Olympics.
Interestingly, both U.S. champions went on to become physicians, Tenley a surgeon and Lorraine an anesthesiologist. Gevvie returns to pursuing her dream of a career in medicine this fall after being on leave from Tufts Medical School to train full time for the Olympics.
For more on Gevvie's achievement, click here to visit the U.S. Rowing website. Special thanks to U.S. Rowing’s communications office for permission to use their photograph of Gevvie from the Lucerne regatta.