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Getting Back in the Groove
October 17, 2011
Margot Shumway could have just chosen to keep training and try for a spot on the United States women’s national team in time for the 2012 Olympics after failing to make the team that competed in the World Rowing Championships this summer.
Instead, after finishing second in the women’s single at the 2011 Senior World Championship Trials, Shumway went back to Potomac Boat Club in Washington, D.C. and set her sights on the Pan American Games Trials.
It paid off.
Not only did the 32-year-old Westlake, Ohio-native, win those trials and is now rowing the women’s single in Ciudad Guzman, Mexico, but she regained a love for rowing.
“This season has been a learning experience for me,” said Shumway, who won her repechage Sunday to advance to the tomorrow’s final. “I've had some ups and downs, but feel like over the past four months, I have found a groove again, not only on the water, but in terms of loving my sport and being positive.”
For Shumway, the Pan American Games is a chance to gain extra international race experience and to have some fun.
“I've trained really hard this year,” said Shumway. “And I feel like Pan Ams is such a great and unique opportunity to do both of those things.”
Shumway is no stranger to the world of international racing. She has been a member of five national teams, including the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where she was part of the women’s quad that finished fifth. And she has raced the single at the world level before, representing the U.S. at the 2009 World Rowing Championships, where she finished 13th overall.
She is one of 12 senior national team members and six Olympians at this year’s Pan American Games. She knows what to expect.
“I think the biggest difference is managing expectations,” she said. “It’s very easy to get wrapped around the axle about conditions, schedules, travel, and I certainly have my moments, but for the most part, I'm just trying to go with the flow and conserve my energy for racing.”
And for next year.
When Shumway finishes the Pan Am Games, it will be right back to training and hoping for a spot on the team that competes in London.
“I am going to train hard and do my best to make a positive contribution to the Olympic team in whatever capacity I can.”