WRC – For the first time ever the World Rowing Championships are in Sarasota, and the USRowing team is gaining some extra momentum from it.
“We have athletes from Princeton, others in California, really all throughout the country,” USRowing communications manager Dan Brauchli said.
But for the whole team, Sarasota is feeling like home.
“For the first time in 23 years, the World Rowing Championships have come back to the United States,” Brauchli said.
They haven’t been here since Indianapolis hosted the championships in 1994.
“It’s really awesome that we get to race in the U.S.; we don’t often get to do that,” U.S. Women’s Four’s Molly Bruggeman said.
The U.S. Women’s Four say being on home turf keeps them going when they’re out on the water.
“Having a home crowd is amazing,” Bruggeman said. “It’s been so fun to hear everyone chanting. Even today, we had little kids come watch our race and we could hear them chanting, ‘Go USA, you guys rock!’ so it was great.”
“I have a twin sister and a little brother, and they have a whole American flag jumpsuit, get up, ready for the finals,” Women’s Four rower Kristine O’Brien said.
The team is feeling the love from each other and from the crowd.
“We all just wanna create our own legacy and put the U.S. on top,” O’Brien said.
“Here I am and I couldn’t be more excited to represent my country,” Women’s Four rower Kendall Chase said. “I think of my teammates in the boat. I don’t wanna let them down, and I don’t wanna let my country down.”
They’re proud to be American and proud to be at Nathan Benderson Park.
“To come in and see this venue and the infrastructure, it really is on caliber with an Olympic-class event,” Brauchli said. “Everyone is so impressed.”