USRowing’s Amanda Polk Makes Return Trip to OIympics

USRowing’s Amanda Polk Makes Return Trip to OIympics

By Dawn Reiss, August 15, 2016

0804_RoadtoRio_AmandaPolk_verticalAmanda Polk knows what it is like to watch the Olympics a stroke or two away from the action.

The four-time All-American at University of Notre Dame trained twice a day and worked full time while competing for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic rowing team. She made the squad, but as an alternate. “It was a bittersweet experience to go as part of the team and be a part of such an amazing group,” she says, “but it was hard to sit on the sidelines and watch my teammates race.”

Not getting the chance to compete in the Olympics was a tough pill to swallow for Polk, who held down multiple jobs to stay afloat financially while pursuing her dream. Among her less-than-glamorous roles: working security at Morven Museum & Garden in Princeton, New Jersey; babysitting; dog walking and dog sitting; and, ironically enough, taking an office job for a small financial advising company.

Four years later, Polk finally got her chance, in large part because of what she did outside of training. Namely, Polk stayed with a host family of another Notre Dame alum during training so she would not need to work to pay rent. Her reward came in June, when she earned a spot on the 2016 USRowing Olympic women’s eight team—a boat of eight rowers and a coxswain—that won its third consecutive Olympic gold medal.

Competing in the water puts Polk and her teammates more at risk of Zika than athletes competing in indoor sports. USRowing, knowing the risks, advised athletes on what clothing to wear, including a new, one-seam unisuit made of antimicrobial material to reduce exposure.

But Polk, who turned 30 a few days before the Olympics, says she’s worked too hard not to compete. “It’s been my dream to be an Olympian for such a long time,” she says.

Photo Credit: USRowing

Jennifer Todd, co-founder and executive vice president of strategic partnerships of The Basketball Tournament, explains her unlikely path to TBT.

The NCAA is seeking bids to host the NCAA 2021 Division III Field Hockey Championship, to be held the weekend before Thanksgiving. RFPs are due July 15.

David Siegel, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Sports Council and Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, talks life after the Dodgers.

Slated to host the NFL’s Raiders starting in the 2020 season, Las Vegas Stadium has also landed another marquee football attraction: the Mitsubishi Motors