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Shoop’s USA Rowing Profile
Nine from UVa Set to Compete in Olympics

Lindsay Shoop, a former All-American rower and 2003 UVa graduate, is a member of the United States’ women’s eight crew competing at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Heats for the event begin on Aug. 10 at the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park. The repechage will be Aug. 12 and the finals will be held on Aug. 17. For more information, visit the Official Olympics website.

Question: What are you looking forward to most in Beijing?
Lindsay Shoop: I am really looking forward to having a lot of down time. Being bored up until racing is my goal. That way, I can rest and get really prepared and even more focused. After that, I would love to watch some of my fellow Cavaliers compete and also meet a lot of the other athletes.

Question: When did you first dream of the Olympics or know you wanted to be an Olympian?
Shoop: Growing up, I thought going to the Olympics in equestrian events would be amazing. I grew up on a mini-farm outside Charlottesville, and horses have always been a part of my life. After that, I thought beach volleyball was it. I started playing volleyball in ninth grade, and since I love the beach and the ocean, I thought it was a perfect fit. I think everyone that is interested in athletics has a certain innate respect and awe when it comes to the Olympics. I still cannot believe that I get to be a direct part of that.

Question: How has UVa helped you attain your goal of going to the Olympics?
Shoop: Being on the UVa rowing team with Kevin Sauer as coach was key. He was persistent in getting me to give rowing a try, which worked after about three years. He not only introduced me to the sport, but he also has an amazing view of what being a part of a team is. In order to excel at this level in this sport, you have be extremely dedicated to every single person. You have to trust them and work with them to get the most out of yourself and them. That makes everyone faster.

Question: What has been the biggest influence on you and your training?
Shoop: A hugely important part of my life has been my family and friends. They have been extremely supportive and understanding through all of this. More than I could have ever imagined.

Question: Will you be staying at the Olympic Village?
Shoop: We will be at a hotel near our venue until we finish racing. After we are done competing, we will move to the Olympic Village.

Question: Will you attend opening ceremonies?
Shoop: Because we begin racing so soon after the opening ceremonies, we will be spectators from our hotel instead of walking.

Who from your family and friends will be cheering you on in Beijing?
Shoop: My mom, dad, brother, sister-in-law and one of my mom’s cousins and his wife will be there. Six close members of my family in all will be in China.

Question: What does it mean to you to represent your country at the highest level of international competition?
Shoop: I can’t really express it in words. I think that it will really hit me in retrospect. For now, we see it as an opportunity to race our hearts out. We try to keep our focus on just our boat. The rest will come after we cross the line. And that reaction…is always a surprise.

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