Athlete Spotlight

Grace D'Souza

Sophomore at Whitefish Bay High School 

When/Why began rowing:

Since I was younger, people always noted my height and told me I would be a natural rower. I also love to be on and around water, so rowing seemed like a perfect fit. In the summer of 2013 I decided to try Learn to Row, just to see how I liked the sport. 

Favorite workout:

My favorite workout on the erg is 1000m to 100m (even though I complain every time we do it) and on the water I like to do the Lake Washington Pyramid. I like both of these workouts because they over prepare you for a 2000m race, making it seem less difficult in comparison. These workouts also require you to exert 100% of your energy for a long period of time; it makes the boat tougher.

Future plans:

While on my team, my goal is for us to qualify for Junior Nationals at least one more time. Additionally, I would really enjoy rowing for a school in college. 

Favorite aspect of rowing:

My favorite aspect of rowing is that everyday you discover something new about yourself. You push yourself to a new limit, challenge your mental strength, or learn something about your character. Everyday is something new and I think thats something unique to rowing. 

Favorite rowing season & why:

My favorite season of rowing is Spring season. I love the competitive atmosphere, 2000m races, and the opportunity to race at Midwest. 

What motivates you to work hard?

My teammates motivate me everyday. I work hard to improve myself so that we can succeed as a team. I'm so lucky to have such a strong group of girls motivating me to be the best I can.

Favorite race & why:

Head of the Charles is my favorite race because we are surrounded by elite rowing programs from around the country, and masters from all over. I love the city of Boston and seeing the enthusiasm the people have for rowing. Most importantly, the race course is beautiful and fun to row on.

Interests/hobbies outside of practice:

In addition to rowing, I play varsity tennis and varsity ski race with my school.

Proudest accomplishment in your life so far:

My proudest accomplishment thus far has been placing 13th at Junior Nationals in the Lightweight 4+. Seeing how far I came in just one year of rowing was an incredible transformation for me. I'm also extremely proud to have represented our club on a National level.

Favorite quote:

 “What mattered more than how hard a man rowed was how well everything he did in the boat harmonized with what the other fellows were doing. And a man couldn’t harmonize with his crewmates unless he opened his heart to them. He had to care about his crew.” Daniel James Brown, The Boys in the Boat