Selection Camp - Philadelphia 2008 team named for Paralympics
For the past 6 years I have been on a quest to first see rowing become a
Paralympic sport, That was accomplished in 2005, and this year in Beijing China rowing will be included
for the first time. I have had the amazing and fortunate experience of rowing with the US National team for the past
6 years at 5 World Rowing Championships. These experiences will be with me forever including the friends I have made.
Since 2002 when I tried out for the very first adaptive team, I wanted to see adaptive rowing become available to anyone with
a disability who wanted to get the thrill of the amazing sport of rowing.
The sport has grown, and will continue to grow, both from the perspective
of boathouses opening their doors, and the awareness of the sport to people with disabilities. I shared this dream and
of being on the first team that would represent the US at the Paralympics with you over the years. One of these dreams
is coming true, the sport is growing, and the athletes are getting younger and stronger. That is where the sport needed
to go in order to be competetive on the world venue.
I tried out for the Paralympic team and lost my seat to a very deserving
23 year old woman from Purdue University. The boat that will be going to China to represent the US will have my heart
and sole behind them. They will be a strong competetive boat. I wanted to realize my goal that I set for myself
in 2002, even though I won't be in the boat that will go down the racecourse in Beijing, my goal has been realized because
the athletes that will be representing the US are the best combination to bring home the gold!
I thank you all for supporting my efforts, I couldn't have done it
without you! I will continue to spread the word and work to grow the sport so that in 2012 there will be a huge pool
of competetive athletes trying out for the team. Please continue to follow the team through this
web site, as I will continue to post their progress and results
TRAINING CAMP US NATIONAL ADAPTIVE TEAM
February 27- March 2 2008
LTA 4+, TA double and Mens and Womens singles trained together at the
|2008 Paralympic Hopefulls!
|Laura, Ron, Angela, Scott, AG, Jamie, Ryan, Tracy, Jesse, Karen, Margeaux, Frank
|Chesapeake Boathouse on the Oklahoma River
February 27 2008
My adventure began when I dropped
Hedda off with mom at the Marin Rowing Boathouse, where she will spend the rest of the week.
She is unable to go through airports anymore, so she will stay with mom, and have long walks every day by Arlene Killpack
Lloyd Wiborg. It was lonely getting on the airplane without her. I felt
more vulnerable, and less self assured without my girl. When I got to the Oklahoma
airport, I was met by security, where I was helped to baggage and my bag retrieved.
Then I stood waiting for the staff person from the University
of Central Oklahoma for about a half hour. It turned out she couldn’t park, so sent a passer-by in to retrieve me and bring me to her car. Leah, was very friendly and brought me to the Chesapeake
Boathouse. Frank was on shore, and Karen and Ron were out on the water doing
time trials and checking out some new equipment.
Ron and Laura had arrived with
Frank, Karen (and Gunnar) and Volker Nolte on the 24th. The rest of
the crew will arrive tonight, including the double. The Chesapeake Boathouse put on a welcome reception for the team, and we had a chance to speak
and answer questions. There was a big audience, including some rowers who were
adaptive. The community programs at Chesapeake
are very well developed. We had a chance to chat with everyone afterwards. Turned out Dave Lee a former Marinite was there, and we spent a long time talking
about growing up in Tiburon and going to Redwood High. What a small world!
We all got a chance to go out
to dinner together at the Steak n Shake and catch up on the week. Turned out
that the 2 singles and everyone else had experienced the flu and were on the mend. The
four would be housed with athlete housing on the UCO campus and the rest of the team at a hotel for wheelchair access.
Thursday Feb 28
We all met at the UCO cafeteria
at 8am for breakfast. Today would be the only day where the whole team would
be in at the same time. It would be a long day so that all of the guest speakers
could address the whole team. The four had a chance to get out on the water,
and as we would experience for the rest of the week, there were pretty high winds, but because the water is down an embankment,
it isn’t felt quite as strongly. Volker talked to the team, and it was
a great treat to hear him speak, and glean the wisdom of his scientific and rowing background.
He was followed by a representative from USADA (the anti-doping agency) who gave us a clearer picture of the process
we are going through to be available for testing for the Paralympics. Following
that our US Rowing representative Margaux
Jackson spoke to us about what we should expect at the Paralympics. The housing, food, travel to and from and our family and
friends. This is all feeling very real!!
Out for a second row, and after that we went to UCO Wellness Center to hear a talk on nutrition
and sports physiology. Dinner and off to bed.
Friday Feb 29
I got the flu… spent the
day lying on the boathouse floor, don’t remember much. But Karen jumped
into my seat on the four. Ron and Laura flew home.
Saturday March 1
Feeling good again, just tired. We got 2 good practices in for the day, rested in-between. Ate some food, and was feeling pretty well until nite came and the flu hit me full force again… what
Sunday March 2, There was no
way I could row, needed to be near the facilities.,…. I was just hoping
that my trip home wouldn’t include the GI fun… Fortunately by the
time I got to the airport it was ok, and I was very happy to get to the car, be reunited with Hedda, and head home to my own
bed! We got some great work in during the week, it was well worthwhile.
WINTER TRAINING CAMP
JANUARY 3-6 2008
|Winter Training Camp Jan 3-6 2008 Tampa Florida
|Denny, Frank/Karen/Gunnar, Ryan,Jesse, Jamie, Tracy, Kendra, Laura AG and Hedda
Wednesday evening Jamie, Kendra, Tracy, Ryan, Laura and I met up with Karen
and Frank at the Double Tree Hotel in Tampa to begin our winter training camp. It was the coldest front that had moved
into the area 19 degrees at night and only 45 during the day. We were all so happy to be in warm sunny Florida as a
"break" from the cold weather we had all been experiencing at home (grin). It is suppose to warm up as the week progresses.
Camp would start at 8:15am tomorrow.
Thursday January 3, 2008
We didn't own enough clothes to be warm enough for this kind of cold! We loaded up our
large van, and headed down to the "boathouse". As we crossed over the bridge to the river that we would be rowing on,
the prevailing comment was "where's the water". When we arrived Denny, the boathouse manager, met us and gave us a tour
of the place and the equipment we would be using. However, he mentioned that the wind was blowing so hard that
it is blowing the water away... there won't be enough to row on right now. Hmmm, never heard of the water being blown
away... Anyway, we got Laura's boat rigged, and had a chance to get out of the cold. We returned in the afternoon
(slightly warmer) to find the water had returned, and we could have our first row. Frank had baby and dog duty, and
juggled those responsibilities with official boat man, orchestrating the movement of the boats and launch. Jesse won't
be able to join us until Friday night, so our lineup now would be Jamie in stroke, me, Kendra in 2 seat and Tracy in the bow.
We had a good row, and generated enough heat to get warmed up. Tomorrow is suppose to be warmer... We were tempted by
the hot-tub, but it was located outside, that idea got nixed. A hot meal, and an early night to bed.
Friday January 4
It was definitely warmer (not any 70 degrees), and the sun was out with a slight breeze.
We met in the lobby at 8:30 and off to the boathouse we went. We did 2 practices, with a break for lunch. The
afternoon was in the 60's and it felt great! I think we are really in Florida now, I had my doubts before. We
spent most of our training time on drills, and technique. Every row shows improvement, and it is exciting to be on the
water with the team again! Frank re-rigged the boat to a bucke configuration. Meaning that the line up would be
starboard, port, port, starboard. Jesse got in early evening, and now the whole group is here.
Saturday January 5
The practice started at 8:30, and the starting line-up was Jamie, Jesse, Kendra and Tracy, and
I would rotate in for Kendra 1/2 way through the row. I went out on the launch with Karen, and listened to the coaching
and the sounds of the oars on the water. For the afternoon row, Kendra and Tracy would rotate, giving Kendra a chance
to row both port and starboard. We got off the water in time to go back to the hotel, get cleaned up and go out for
a nice dinner together as a group. Socializing is an important part of bonding together as a boat and team, and it was
fun too! Afterwards Tracy Laura and I met at the hot tub to soak our muscles. It was amazing!
Sunday January 6
Two rows left and then it is off to the airport. Now finally the weather is
gorgeous, balmy in the morning and the high 70's during the middle of the day, this brought out the pleasure boaters, and
the big wakes they make. We got a little wet, but it kind of felt good. We did our final row in the afternoon,
did a rudimentary clean up job on ourselves in the bathroom with handy wipes, and changed to head out to the airport.
My flight leaves Tampa at 5:15pm with a layover in Phoenix. I was home in bed by 2am pacific time. Now we start
making plans for the next camp in Oklahoma the end of February.