USRowing to rename Female Athlete of the Year award in honor of Carie Graves

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PRINCETON, N.J. – USRowing will rename its Female Athlete of the Year award in honor of the late Carie Graves, the organization’s board of directors announced this week. A sports legend, Graves helped start the rowing program at the University of Texas and served as head coach for its first 16 years.

The 2022 Carie Graves Female Athlete of the Year Award will be selected by this year’s senior national team athletes following the 2022 World Rowing Championships scheduled for September in Racice, Czech Republic.

“As a rower in the United States, you knew who Carie Graves was even if you had never met her,” said Taylor Ritzel, female athlete representative on the USRowing board and gold medalist. Olympic Games in 2012. “Her courage, fearlessness and leadership were attributes I remember learning even as I started the sport. Not only did she pave the way for decades of strong American rowers to follow, but her commitment to her team and the direct betterment of the sport By naming the Female Athlete of the Year award after Carie, the current team will not only be voting for the rower who leads the performance on and off the water, but she will also choose the woman who best embodies Carie’s ethos and character, someone who leaves an incredibly positive impact on the team and the sport.”

Graves built the Texas rowing program from scratch beginning in the fall of 1998, guiding the Longhorns to two NCAA championship appearances and five conference titles before retiring from coaching in 2014.

Texas earned its first NCAA championship bid in 2003, when the top eight college finishers placed 12th nationally, and made a return visit to the championship regatta in 2004, with the top eight finishing 15th. It was a historic year for Texas Rowing in 2004 as Ruth Stiver and Julie Keedy became the first Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) All-Americans.

Graves led Texas to four consecutive Big 12 crowns, leading UT to victory in the inaugural Big 12 championship in 2009 and repeating the feat in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The three-time U.S. Olympian also led the Longhorns to the victory in the 2011 Conference. United States Championship.

Prior to taking the reins at Austin, Graves served as head women’s rowing coach for 10 seasons at Northeastern University (1988-98). She broke into the coaching profession as head coach of the women’s team at Harvard/Radcliffe in 1977 and served there until 1983.

Graves enjoyed a distinguished rowing career and was selected to three US Olympic teams (1976, 1980 and 1984) and five other US National teams (1975, 1977, 1979, 1981 and 1983). Graves helped the USA women’s eight to gold at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and bronze at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. Graves was a member of the US Olympic team which boycotted the Moscow Games in 1980. At the 1975 World Championships she won a silver medal thanks to the “Red Rose Crew” which ushered in a new era of competition for women in male-dominated sport.

“There can be no female athlete with more ‘firsts’ in sport than Carie Graves,” teammate Carol Brown said in testimony supporting the renaming of the award. “She was THE figurehead and the hero for all those who had the chance to be in one of her boats – even just during a selection camp. She remains the emblematic example of passion, power and commitment to every shot and every teammate. At the same time, she was always humble and always had the team in mind, not her results or her individual status. There will never be another Carie Graves, and it is a huge and fitting honor to have the award in his name.”

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) selected Graves as female athlete of the year in American rowing in 1981 and 1984. The National Rowing Foundation has inducted Graves twice into its Hall of Fame as a member of the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic teams and was selected. as one of the “Most Notable Persons of the Century” in American rowing by the American Rower’s Almanac 2000-01.

A 1976 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Graves guided the Badgers to the 1975 National Rowing Association Championship, the first national championship won by a UW varsity women’s team. A native of Madison, Wisc., Graves was the school’s first-ever Women’s Athletics Hall of Fame inductee in 1984 and was ranked No. 16 on her alma mater’s list of the “Top 100 Athletes in the World”. century”. Graves received a master’s degree in education from Harvard in 1985.


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