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Meghan Musnicki '05 Rows for the Gold

Written by Brittany Gilpin

Meghan Musnicki '05 (far right) with her fellow gold-medal-winning Olympic women's eight teammates.

Athletes from all over the world hear the call of Olympic glory. And the ones from Ithaca are no exception. When Meghan Musnicki ’05 transferred to Ithaca College during her sophomore year, she joined the College’s rowing team and went on to win two NCAA trophies. Lately Musnicki’s been training in deeper waters: she has taken home the gold at the World Rowing Championships and more recently won the gold medal as part of the women’s eight at the 2012 Olympic Games.

"It feels amazing to have won the gold," says Musnicki. "I row with an amazing group of women. We all wanted the same thing and stuck with our race plan from start to finish."

Musnicki rowed crew throughout her time at IC, but her Olympic aspirations only sprang up after she graduated with a degree in psychology.

“I always had a passion to compete and train and be fast,” she says. “I started training more regularly and more intensely, and that’s when I was like, ‘I really want to give this a go and see what happens with rowing.’”

For four years Musnicki has trained with the U.S. Women’s Rowing Team and has made the team roster three times, including the London 2012 Olympic Games, held this past summer. She trained six to seven days per week with her Olympic teammates and worked out two to four times each day.

“It’s a full-time job,” she says. “It requires a great deal of commitment and dedication to what you’re doing because you really don’t have the time—or energy for that matter—to do much of anything else.”

Musnicki says her time as an IC student prepared her for her rigorous Olympic training—and the pediatric nursing career that she plans to have follow.

She says the lessons she’s learned about hard work are applicable to any challenge she may face. “Right now, rowing is the most challenging and difficult thing, but when I’m done, I’ll be able to face much harder obstacles than making a rowing team.”



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