Behind The Scenes

Balancing ESPN duties and training, O’Leary continues Olympic quest

Editor’s note: Meghan O’Leary, an ESPNU programming coordinator, continues to pursue her dream of being an Olympic athlete. A rib injury hampered her quest to make the U.S. National Women’s Rowing Team for the 2012 London Olympic Games, but she continues to train with these elite athletes with an eye on the 2016 Olympics. In this post, she provides a look at her competition and training in Canada this summer and an update on her progress.

With the conclusion of the 130th Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in August, the 2012 summer racing season has come to an end.

I competed in the Regatta and it was my first racing since the Small Boat Olympic Trials in April. I managed to win my heat and semifinals, taking second place out of 48 overall competitors in the Senior Women’s Single at the Canadian Henley.

I had been sidelined all of May and June with a frustrating broken rib; a huge learning experience that I hope to never endure ever again.

Even though I spent the majority of the summer rehabbing and working out on the bike, running and cross-training, I was not quite yet in racing shape. Being the competitor that I am, it was not easy swallowing defeat and knowing that I did not have my best racing.

In October, I will be racing the Women’s Championship Single at the 48th Head of the Charles in Boston, one of the largest and most prestigious regattas in the world. The single is one of the most difficult events and I plan to finish among the top competitors.

So, it’s back to work, and working harder than ever. The 2012 Olympic Games have passed, and the U.S. Women’s Rowing Team had a strong performance, winning gold in the Women’s Eight and bronze in the Women’s Quadruple Sculls.

Official workouts at the U.S. Training Center in Princeton, N.J. start up in another month. The bar is set higher than ever. When training picks back up with the Team, it’ll be Day 1 of hundreds more to come, working toward the ultimate goal: the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Video produced by Meghan O’Leary.

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