Recognition for a Silver Stone – 2016 Female Athlete of the Year
By Beth Kohl • September 23, 2016
Gevvie Stone was busy when the call came in.
It was “Gevvie Stone Day” at The Winsor School in Boston, the middle and high school she attended, and she had her phone off because she was enjoying the experience and didn’t want to be interrupted.
“It’s hard to top being surrounded by all these little, amazing nine and 10-year-olds that were so excited to meet me and knew that we shared a school,” she said.
And then she listened to the voicemail message from Erin O’Connell, president of the USRowing Board of Directors, informing her that she had been voted the 2016 USRowing Female Athlete of the Year by the other athletes and coaches of this summer’s U.S. Olympic Rowing Team.
The news topped an amazing day in a string of amazing days that Stone has experienced since competing in Rio in the women’s single and winning the silver medal.
“Today, honestly, has been an amazing blur,” Stone said. “I got the voicemail from Erin just as I got back from The Winsor School,” she said. “It’s amazing,” she said. “To be chosen for an award by fellow athletes and coaches is just the most flattering recognition I can imagine. The women and coaches on the team understand what it takes to make the Olympics and what it takes to race the single.
“To have their support and commendation carries a lot of meaning. This award is all part of the same story,” she said. “You can’t arrange them in any way, because they all fit into the same puzzle, which is my love for rowing and my dedication to the sport.”
Stone, of Newton, Mass., will be honored at the 2016 Golden Oars Awards Dinner on Nov. 17, at the New York Athletic Club in New York City. Stone was named the Female Athlete of the Year, while Paralympian Blake Haxton (Columbus, Ohio) was named the 2016 Male Athlete of the Year.
To be chosen for an award by fellow athletes and coaches is just the most flattering recognition I can imagine. The women and coaches on the team understand what it takes to make the Olympics and what it takes to race the single.
For Stone, being presented with the award will be another highlight in a year of highlights.
After capping off years of training and dreaming of reaching the podium at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Stone has been enjoying a whirlwind of experiences she hadn’t expected.
She was part of a first pitch ceremony before a Boston Red Sox baseball game, she’s made community appearances, been featured in the media, and has been recognized while just out in public at the grocery store.
“The Boston community in general has been great to me,” Stone said. “I was in Whole Foods in Newton the other day in the checkout line, and a women said you’re ‘Gevvie Stone. Congratulations.’
“Then the women behind me said, ‘I bet you get that a lot.’ I told her, ‘actually no.’ But she had watched the PBS documentary and all the rowing in the Olympics. She said she loved the sport, and then she bought my lunch.”
Being a local celebrity and getting named the recipient of a prestigious award was not really part of Stone’s post-Olympic plan. Just moments after winning her medal in Rio, Stone said she was retiring from international rowing. She said she was looking forward to staying in the sport and rowing in the Head of the Charles and starting her career in medicine.
And she has been doing all of those things. Stone, who finished medical school during a break in training between the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, has been completing applications for her medical residency program, begun coaching at Radcliffe College, is planning a month-long trip to work in a hospital in the Republic of Ghana and is looking forward to riding a bike ride across the country with a former college crew teammate.
“It’s a little bit overwhelming at times,” she said. “I’m definitely not used to this much attention, and it’s definitely not going to last long. So I’m enjoying it while it does.”
Photo by: Ed Hewitt, row2k.com