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Taylor Ritzel: USA Olympic Medal Hopeful

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Taylor Ritzel has been selected to compete in rowing at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Read all about her past accomplishments, training preferences, favorites and more in this article. Then, get ready to watch her amazing performances later this month in London.

Athlete: Taylor Ritzel

Sport: Women's Rowing - Eight Boat

Age: 23

Height: 6'2"

Hometown: Larkspur, Colo.

Began Rowing: Yale University, 2006

Undergraduate Education: Yale University, History, 2010

Favorites: Running, Swimming, and Reading


Taylor and her rowing: Introduced to the sport of rowing in 2006 at Yale University, Ritzel has quickly earned accolades in many events. Throughout her college career, she helped the Yale varsity eight boat win the NCAA Championships in 2007, 2008, and 2010.

Ritzel continued rowing after graduation, and won gold with the eight at the 2010 World Rowing Under-23. After numerous years of training, she has had a highly acclaimed national and international rowing career. Ritzel also set the course record at the 2011 Henley Royal Regatta. Throughout the years, she has earned gold and silver in everything from the Remenham Challenge Cup to the Rowing World Cups to the Henley Royal Regatta to the US Rowing National Championships.

During the 2012 World Rowing Championships her boat set a new world record time of 5:54:17, earning her team the gold medal. She also helped the US bring gold in 2011. She has not only been a strong competitor in the eight boats, but also winning second at the 2012 National Selection Regattas in the pair's competition.

Personal: She has said that her most memorable athletic achievement was winning the varsity eight at the 2010 NCAA Championships, and lists her parents and grandfather as personal heroes. On a side note, that same grandfather, Red Miller, was the head coach for the Denver Broncos from 1977-1980. When her rowing career is finished, Ritzel hopes to find a job in finance or non-profit work.

Stated in my article, "2012 Summer Olympics Rowing Guide," the Eton Dorney Rowing Centre, located outside of Buckinghamshire, London, will be where the eight team and all other USA boats will be bidding for their first place finish in 2012. Good luck Team USA!

Ashley Hodge was a member on the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities Women's Rowing Team. After three months on the freshman team, she participated the next three years on the varsity team. For the majority of her rowing career, Ashley sat in seat seven, behind the stroke. She is anxiously awaiting the Olympics in London and hope that you find time to enjoy them as well.

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