Read Caroline's 2008 Starting Five Interview here.
1. How have you prepared differently for this quadrennial than previous cycles?
The preparations are pretty much the same. This time around I am taking the time to appreciate every day and enjoy the moments. I think this is preparing me mentally much more effectively than racing through the process.
2. Did anything completely unexpected happen, or do you have any memorable or unusual stories from your previous Olympiad?
I think my most memorable moment was being on the medal stand. I will NEVER forget that moment and it was the highlight of my last Olympic experience.
3. Any/Most important advice for first time Olympians?
Try to enjoy the entire experience because it goes so quickly!
4. What was your state of mind like sitting in the starting block of your first Olympic race?
Relaxed aggression. I was pretty much faking my mind out and making myself not think about the context of the race and instead was just focusing on the simplicity of the race itself and executing it as I do every time I get to the start line. This allowed me to stay calm and ready to go even in the stressful context of an Olympic final.
5. What's different this time around/what will you do differently at this Olympics?
I am older and Wiser ;-) That is a winky face if you can't tell! As I said before I am going to enjoy every second and appreciate the entirety of the experience.
6. Do you feel older/better/wiser/stronger/other?
Wow, I just answered this above, its clear I am taking this interview one question at a time! Yes, in fact, I feel all those things. I feel stronger and fitter than I ever have been before. I think I am having my lifetime rowing peak at the right time for this Olympic racing. I also feel stronger mentally and that the last 4 years of my life have allowed me to mature as a person to be able to attack this moment in my life to the best of my abilities.
7. Does the phrase "the Olympics" ring differently the next time around?
No, it's still #$%#-ing awesome!
8. As far as regattas go, comparing the olympics to different races (Worlds, Lucerne), is it a better or different regatta, or just higher stakes?
The race itself is just like all those other races. And at the starting line that is what I focus on. The difference is the final medal and the surrounding context of the Olympics. The saliency of the Olympics in the imagination of American and humans is what makes it such a big deal. Its a sportsperson's dream and its the peak of an elite athletic career. Thus, the outcome and results mean something different than the outcomes from all those other races.
Birthplace: Greensboro, N.C.
Hometown: Greensboro, N.C.
Current Residence: Princeton, N.J.
Club Affiliation: USRowing Training Center – Princeton
Began Rowing: Phillips Academy Andover, 2000
Date of Birth: 10/11/82
High School: Phillips Academy Andover, Andover, Mass.
Undergraduate Education: Princeton University, 2006
Graduate Education: Rider University, MBA – Accounting Concentration, 2010
Current Coaches: Tom Terhaar
Years on National Team: Eight—2000, Junior; 2005-2009, 2011-12, Senior
International Results: Won gold and set a world record (5:54.17) in the heat in the eight at the 2012 Samsung World Rowing Cup stop in Lucerne...Won bronze in the pair at the 2012 Samsung World Rowing Cup I...Won gold in the eight at the 2011 World Rowing Championships...Won bronze in the pair at the 2011 Samsung World Rowing Cup stop in Lucerne...Won gold in the eight at the 2009 World Rowing Championships...Won gold in the eight at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing...Won gold in the eight at the 2007 World Rowing Championships...Won gold in the eight at the 2006 World Rowing Championships...Finished fourth in the eight at the 2005 World Rowing Championships...Finished fourth in the eight at the 2000 World Rowing Junior Championships.
National Results: Finished second in the pair at the 2012 National Selection Regatta #1...Finished fourth in the pair at the 2011 National Selection Regatta #2...Won the varsity eight at the 2006 NCAA Championship ...Finished second in the varsity eight at the 2005 NCAA Championship...Finished fourth in the varsity eight at the 2004 NCAA Championship...Finished eighth in the varsity eight at the 2003 NCAA Championship.
Personal: Caroline’s hobbies include cooking...Her most memorable sporting achievement was winning gold in the eight at the Beijing Olympics...Caroline was named the C. Otto von Kienbusch Sportswoman of the Year by the Princeton Athletic Department, as well as the Carol P. Brown Senior Woman of Princeton Women’s Rowing in 2006...She was also recognized as the top female athlete and top female in basketball at Phillips Academy...Caroline’s father, Fred, played basketball for Duke...She lists her father as well as Lori Dauphiny, her coach at Princeton, as the most influential people in her sporting career.