Team USA leaves tomorrow morning for our summer racing tour in Europe, so I’m taking a break from packing to update you on our fun-filled week.
Last Sunday was the long-awaited arrival of Jordan Matter, our photographer for the 2012 edition of US Women’s Rowing Calendar! Jordan is a talented, creative, and visionary photographer, and he definitely has the know-how to make Team USA look amazing. Jordan has been issuing little teaser shots on his twitter account: check it out! Here, here, here, and here
The glorious pink sunrise was well worth the 4am wake-up call, and Lake Carnegie was absolutely pristine in the dawn light– perfect conditions for a photo shoot. We quickly transitioned from the on-water action shots to the portrait sessions at USRowing’s weight room Marketfair. It was the quite the professional setup: Jordan had transformed our lifting facility into a fully operational photography studio. Hair and makeup artists from BB Color Studio and Clinique arrived to make us look beautiful, Patagonia provided our wardrobe, Olives Catering supplied us with delicious food… it was an epic, dawn-till-dusk effort, but it was thrilling to watch the master artists at work! Believe me, the 2012 “Power and Grace” Calendar is going to be STUNNING.
This Thursday, the team celebrated “Olympic Day” by hosting an open house and ‘meet and greet’ at MarketFair Mall. “Olympic Day” is celebrated annually on June 23rd in cities all over the world, as a way to commemorate the birth of the modern Games and to spread the Olympic Ideals of fair play, sportsmanship, perseverance, and respect. The mayors of West Windsor and Princeton Township both arrived to announce official Olympic Day Proclamations, and I had the honor of giving our favorite elected public officials a tour of our new lifting facility.
It’s a good thing my autographing hand wasn’t too sore from Olympic Day, because I had another round of meeting-and-greeting at Mercer County’s Freedom Festival. This annual event ushers in the beginning of Central NJ’s July 4th festivities with all the trappings of a community fair, including the funnel cakes, bounce castles, Bon Jovi tribute bands, and the amazing fireworks show! The Princeton National Rowing Association needed some US athletes to man the tent, so I had a fun two hours of shaking hands, posing for pictures, and racing little kids on the erg (I’d let them win, of course!)
Wish me luck in the next two weeks: we’ll be racing in England at the Henley Royal Regatta, then jetting down to Switzerland for the 3rd World Cup Regatta in Lucerne! We’ve put in some solid training the past few months, so I can’t wait to see how our speed stacks up to our international competition! The team bus leaves in twelve hours, which means I must pack pack pack!