Amanda Elmore, a Harrison and Purdue graduate, was a key member in qualifying the United States for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Now, she is going for one of the greatest honors in all of sports: Being an Olympian. To see how she’s feeling competing for such an honor, the Pulse’s Ethan Stetler and Elias Laborin caught up with her.
Did you ever think your rowing career would come this far?
It has been a long journey to get where I am now, but I still have a lot of improving to do. When I was rowing at Purdue, I knew I had talent, but I didn’t even know what options were available to me after college rowing. My junior year I was invited to try out for the Under 23 National Team, and that’s when I learned about how the National Team system works. When I made the Under 23 team in 2012 and we won the World Championships, I knew that I wanted to put in the work to see how far I could go with the sport.
What were your views on rowing while you were at HHS?
Both of my brothers rowed at Purdue, so I knew a bit about the sport. There aren’t any high school rowing programs in the area. At Harrison I was on the gymnastics, cross country, and track teams. I loved the competitive and social aspects of the sports, but I was never good enough to continue after high school. My first week at Purdue I decided to go to the rowing callout and joined the team as a novice.
What were some inspirations to you while you were at HHS?
My running coaches, especially Coach Phillips, were influential in my athletic development. Coach Phillips taught me to be consistent, competitive, and disciplined. My teammates were also really important. Even at this level, it’s super important to be a good teammate and value every person’s effort.
Who were some of your biggest supporters/influences?
My parents have always been my biggest supporters through high school, college, and National Team. They always believe in me and give me the tools I need to succeed. I wouldn’t be here without them.
What was your favorite experience in your rowing career?
My favorite race is definitely the one I just did – the 2015 World Championships where I raced in the Women’s Quadruple Sculls. We lined up in the outside lane with Germany in lane 3 who were the defending World Champions. Even though we were expected to lose, we had confidence in our training and each other and won for the United States for the first time ever. There’s really no better feeling than being in a high-pressure situation and then coming out on top with the strongest women in the world.
What was the first thought you had after you realized you qualified for the Olympic Games?
We qualified the United States in the quadruple sculls, but that doesn’t mean that I will necessarily be chosen for the boat. We have a lot of depth and talent on the US Rowing team, so it is going to be a hard year of training and selection to try to make the Olympic team. That being said, I was extremely proud to qualify the US for the event, especially to win. The US Women were the only country to qualify every event to the Olympics. We are in a good position going into the Olympic year. I can’t wait to keep improving and see what we can do as a team!
- Ethan Stetler and Elias Laborin