After just missing out on the final in London, Gevvie Stone secured her spot in the A final for the women’s 1x Friday in Rio. Here is what she had to say after the race.
What was the goal going into today?
Gevvie: The goal was to be top three and I did that, tomorrow’s race is for medals. I can't say today race went exactly how I wanted it to go. I'll never be happy if someone passes me in the last 250. I'm motivated for tomorrow and I am ready to go out there and give it a whole other fight. Tomorrow's the race for the medals. I get to race for an Olympic medal!
You've come a long way since London.
Gevvie: Come a long way.
Have you thought about your race tomorrow?
Gevvie: I'm in the hunt, so it's good to be in the hunt. Tomorrow will need to be an amazing race to be on the podium. It's the single. It's going to be a battle of will.
What did you think when Denmark stopped? Did you have a view of what happened?
Gevvie: Yes. She was right next to me. Her oar came out of the oarlock.
It did come out?
Gevvie: I didn't see it come out. I heard a clunk, looked over and saw her screwing her oar lack back closed.
What are you thinking when you see that happen to someone during a race?
Gevvie: Honestly, right now, that's a terrible way to finish a race. I don't want that for anyone.
How about when you saw Knapková start to push in the last 500?
Gevvie: Once it was the last 500, I knew Magdalena was close to me and I knew Jingli was close to her. It wasn't a matter of beating any one person. It was a matter of getting the boat to the line as fast as possible. All four of us were close enough that I wasn't trying to pick and choose which people I beat. I just was trying to get to the line as fast as possible.
Do you feel like there was something you could've done differently?
Gevvie: I have to think that in order to face tomorrow with a positive attitude. I know there are things I can improve on. I'm looking forward to watching the race on TV and put in my best race forward tomorrow.
Is this the field you imagined for the final?
Gevvie: I thought that Miroslave was going get Magdalena, looking at it before the race started. Other than that, it's exactly what I anticipated.
What are your thoughts after seeing the results of the other semifinal?
Gevvie: I'm surprised the other race was as much of a battle as it was. They really went for it. It goes to show; you're all in the same situation going into tomorrow. It's going to be hard and that's what it's supposed to be. That's why we're here.
You seemed to take a longer cool down today.
Gevvie: I wanted to get a thorough cooldown. I wasn't feeling horrible. I was mostly just getting in the minutes and flushing it out.
What will it come down to for the three people who win a medal tomorrow? What will that take?
Gevvie: I think the people on the podium will be people that have had their best race. It's a tough field. I respect every single one of those ladies. In a single, you know each other so well. It definitely makes it emotional, in a way. But, I am going to do everything I can to get on that podium! I was fourth last year at Worlds and I don't want that to happen again.
What did it take to get from where you were in London to where you are now?
Gevvie: A lot! On the water, in terms of mileage, training, training with other people, training with other coaches, training with international rowers, and more races mentally. I think you gain wisdom every race you do at this level. I gain wisdom every race I do in a single. Off the water, nutrition, weightlifting, and recovery. I'm a different rower than I was four years ago.
How were you able to build momentum every year?
Gevvie: I've been really lucky. I think if I look back on my entire rowing career, it's been a little bit faster every year that I've rowed. I was not the standout freshman at Princeton. Lori (Princeton Women’s Coach) had two freshmen that she tried out on varsity. I was not one of them. I worked my way up the ranks and I have been stubborn. I worked for every second. It's really satisfying to see hard work pay off. That's one of the really fun things about rowing, especially in the single, is that you see hard work pay off. It's all about getting 1% wherever you can.