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Esther Lofgren's Blog

Esther Lofgren won gold in the women's eight at the 2012 Olympic Games. She is a seven-time U.S. national team rower, current World Record holder in the eight, four-time World Champion and seven-time World Championship medalist. She blogs for USRowing about training, racing, and the life of an elite rower.

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  • FrankenStorm FrankenPlaylist

      The Frankenstorm is officially here! Thankfully, everyone in the DC area is currently safe and sound, and hopefully will continue to be for this entire weather event.

      Rowing-wise, like most rowers up and down the East Coast, we were stuck indoors this morning, and probably will be for the next several days. But just because there's no Metro or school, there's no reason to skip a workout! So to help keep that motivation going even when wading's required to get to the erg room, here's the FrankenStorm FrankenPlaylist. Enjoy!

      Links go to iTunes or Soundcloud preview. All songs available on iTunes, Soundcloud, or YouTube for download.

      As always, the first 25 to post on Facebook win a copy!

    FrankenStorm FrankenPlaylist
    October 2012

    1. Afterlife - Switchfoot
    2. Survival - Muse
    3. It's Time (Kat Krazy Remix) - Imagine Dragons
    4. Crave You (Adventure Club Dubstep Remix) - Flight Facilities
    5. Dirty Sexy Strobes - TeeTs
    6. Everywhere (Aylen Remix) [feat. Genasis] - Aylen
    7. Lunar - David Guetta & Afrojack
    8. As Long As You Love Me (Ferry Corsten Radio) - Justin Bieber
    9. I Knew You Were Trouble. - Taylor Swift
    10. Babel - Mumford & Sons
    11. Feel Again - OneRepublic
    12. Closer - Tegan and Sara
    13. Sail - Noosa
    14. Tipsy/Free Falling - J Kwon vs. Tom Petty
    15. We OK (feat. K'naan) - The Very Best
    16. Get Away (feat. Sean Kingston) - lyaz
    17. Radioactive - Imagine Dragons
    18. Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It - Stars
    19. November Skies (feat. Nina Kinert) - Tomas Barfod
    20. Letting You Let Go - Paper Route
    21. Heat Lightening - Icky Blossoms
    22. I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons
    23. Madness - Muse
    24. FineShrine (DJ SLink Remix) - Purity Ring

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  • First 24: Ralph Lauren, the Rowing Village, and a Letter

    Me and my rowing blankie! Home for the next two weeks...

    Wow. The past 24 hours have already been amazing, and we've only just arrived in London! I'm about to shut my eyes after an action-packed but thoroughly awesome day that started in New Jersey and is ending here under my beautiful Olympic-sport comforter here at the Rowing Olympic Village.

    Me and Saida, Team USA's #1 Fan!

    We hopped on a red-eye at Newark last night, and before I got a great (if short) sleep, I met Saida, a huge fan of the Olympics and, hopefully, a future rower (I'm always recruiting!) Talking with her reminded me how huge our support is here in the USA, and it was neat to share my goals and journey with her just as I am starting this final step for all of our training with my team.


    Rowing dorms--outside view!

    Home sweet home!

    As soon as we landed, oodles of friendly and helpful London 2012 volunteers shuttled us to our accreditation, where we got the passes "our lives depend on"! Then it was off to grab our luggage and head to the Rowing Olympic Village, one of the satellite Olympic Villages near to Dorney Lake. We'll be staying here through the end of racing, and it's a beautiful place to be living with Team USA and focusing on our job at hand: getting ready to have the best races of our lives!

    Yes--there is a lane just for us!

    Just before heading in to the awesome craziness!

    Just minutes later, it was time to head into the city and get "processed". Even after hearing stories from the women in Athens and Beijing about this crazy building where awesome sponsors bedeck you with bags and boxes of gear and goodies, I was totally unprepared for how almost overwhelmingly amazing it was! We started at Ralph Lauren, where we were fitted for our Opening and Closing Ceremony kit. The video crew asked me to say a few words about the gear, and it was really neat to have the opportunity to say how elegant and athletic our whole team looked in the outfits!

    Susan & I modeling closing and opening ceremony kit!

    Then we went through the other stations--our headshots, ring fittings (Hamilton Jewelers gives every Olympian a beautiful watch and ring!), Proctor & Gamble Welcome Kit pick-up (everything I could have possibly needed to pack--thank you!), and Oakley (so excited to race in my Olympic-Edition Miss Conducts!)

    A small fraction of the tons of awesome gear we received today!

    And then--the huge dressing room and what seemed like 8,000 things to try on from Nike and Ralph Lauren, each cooler than the next! Nike designed a whole slew of really sharp outfits, and I couldn't even wait until tomorrow to wear some of it to the dining hall tonight. Our team left looking great and ready to get out on the water and race!

    A wave from the Queen during our tour-bus ride home.

    We took a tiny tour of the major London sights on the way home--Westminister Abbey (sadly, no Princess Kate sighting!), the Gherkin building, the London Eye, the Tate, and many more. It will be great to explore the city more after racing--but first, it's time to race! So then home for dinner, posting this blog, and now, bed.

    USA team table at the dining hall.

    One of the other amazing things about today was a letter that was waiting for me when I got back to my room tonight. At our Olympic Ambassador training several months ago, we were asked to write a letter to ourselves, one that we'd open if we made it to the Olympics. I had completely forgotten about it, and opened the letter to find a huge reminder of the work that we've put in as a team over the last four years and the tons of support that are beaming over here from everyone we know in the USA. It was so moving and it really sunk in--this is it. I'm here. At the Olympics. Ready to have the best races of my life and find an entirely new gear to go to in our racing. I cannot wait! This has been unlike anything I've ever done before, and I've only been in the country for just over 12 hours. Just--amazing. I can't wait for what the next three weeks will bring! Go USA!

    A reminder to be all that I can be.

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  • The Row to London!

    My roommate Natalie Dell and I with awesome door decor from our
    teammate Sara Hendershot on the naming date!

    We're now just 27 days away from our first race in London! After a few days of media tagging along to practices last week, we're back to normal, training and getting ready to race here in Princeton.

    USRowing and the National Rowing Foundation have teamed up for the Row to London, a fundraising competition to cover the costs of travel, housing, and equipment for the 52 athletes racing at the Olympics and Paralympics, plus our alternates, coaches, and support staff! You can make a donation through my page here (I'm about 25% of the way to my goal of $2,500! Thanks to everyone who's donated so far!!!) and learn more about the Row to London project here.

    We've also been reaching out to the incredibly supportive Princeton community. It's been awesome to meet so many great people who are excited about the Olympics and excited to support us! We hosted the inaugural Go for the Gold 5K last weekend and it was awesome to meet so many rowers, runners, and Olympic enthusiasts! We also got to meet the women's Under 23 8+. That was the first national team boat I raced in, and it was great to meet some of the women I'm sure will be heading to Rio in four years!

    Some of the USA W8+ and W4x meeting the U23 8+ at the 5K!

    My teammate Susan Francia and her family hosted an awesome Olympic sendoff Bar-B-Q this weekend...the highlight (besides the tour of the Francia home, getting to see some great awkward prom photos, and the homemade Hungarian goulash!) was this amazing cake Susan made of our eight! Yes, it's seven feet long...yes, the Barbies are wearing unisuits...yes, that's an Empacher...and yes, Mary is Skipper!

    Erin, Susan, me, Taylor, Caryn, and Mary checking out the details!
    Look out, Cake Boss!

    For now, it's back to training and getting ready for the big show in just a few weeks! Thanks for your support and GO USA!!!

    Warmup jog--ready to start another day of training on Lake Carnegie.

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  • Happy November Playlist!

    Downtown Princeton, about an hour into the storm.  Photo: Liv Coffey

    So the fall head racing season is fully underway, with the Charles over, the Schuylkill and Princeton Chase just finished this past weekend--as well as my little brother's first head race, with Newport Aquatic Center at the Head of the American! Only a few more races to go before we head indoors (on this coast, anyway). We had a big ol' snowstorm Saturday--trees down, power out, and lots of good reasons to be training indoors (or be cuddled up in a blanket in front of the fireplace and/or space heater!) So...since erg season's just around the corner, here's a playlist that will help ease the transition from long, beautiful swing rows to sweaty five-minute pieces in the hurt locker. 

    As always, be one of the first 25 to comment on the playlist post, share on Facebook, or retweet to win a copy of the November Playlist! lucky reader will WIN A POWER AND GRACE CALENDAR SIGNED BY THE ENTIRE WOMEN'S TEAM! These awesome calendars are going fast, so share to get yours before we sell out! (And if you just want to order calendars, go to the Power and Grace website!) Thanks for reading, and enjoy! 

    The Happy November/Grady Loves Dubstep Playlist 

    All links are to previews or YouTube clips. All previewed tracks are available on iTunes. 

    1. Shake It Out (Benny Benassi Remix) - Florence + The Machine 

    2. This Ain't Water (Thirsty Pt. 2) - Starting Six ft. Mann 

    3. I'm A Goner - Matt & Kim ft. Soulja Boy and ANDREW W.K. 

    4. Pumped Up Kicks (feat. Dr. Pack) - DJ Shocker 

    5. Good Feeling - Flo Rida 

    6. Lights (Bassnectar Remix) - Ellie Goulding 

    7. Mr. Saxobeat (Radio Edit) - Alexandra Stan 

    8. Danza Kuduro - Don Omar & Lucenzo 

    9. We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) - Rihanna 

    10. Crave You (Graz Remix) - Flight Facilities 

    11. After Midnight - Blink 182 

    12. Dignity - New Politics 

    13. Better With the Lights Off (feat. Chris Brown) - New Boyz 

    14. Rabbit Heart (SLOF MAN Remix) - Florence + The Machine 

    15. Turn Me On (feat. Nicki Minaj) - David Guetta & Nicki Minaj 

    16. The War Inside - Switchfoot 

    17. Countdown - Beyoncé 

    18. Without You (feat. Usher) - David Guetta & Usher 

    19. We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monáe) - Fun. 

    20. Feel So Close - Calvin Harris 

    21. Gold Guns Girls - Metric 

    22. Cinema (Skrillrex Radio Edit) [feat. Gary Go] - Benny Benassi 

    23. Faster Than My Angels Can Fly - Eric Church 

    24. Barefoot Blue Jean Night - Jake Owen 

    25. Sail - AWOLNATION 

    26. Stay Don't Go - Spoon 

    27. A Real Hero - College feat. Electric Youth 

    28. Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire) - YACHT 

    29. Paradise (Fedde le Grande Remix) - Coldplay 

    30. Pass At Me (feat. Pitbull) - Timbaland 

    31. Da Mystery of Chessboxin (TF2 Remix) - Wu-Tang Clan

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