Olympic rower Brooke Mooney met with the Female Athlete Network (FAN) to share her journey to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, talk pre-game motivation, and offer a word of advice on being a female athlete during a Feb. 17 talk.
Mooney shared with FAN members that her journey to the United States Olympic rowing team was something that wasn’t on her radar until her senior year of high school, according to information provided by The Hun School of Princeton.
She is currently coaching rowing for the start of the spring season. As assistant rowing coach, her responsibilities include assisting with all duties involving the rowing program including planning organizing, and the implementation of training and competition.
Mooney said she spent her youth training to be a cross country skier. After ultimately deciding that she did not want to pursue a career in cross country skiing, she left the ski academy she was at to try her hand at rowing at the boarding school where she grew up with her family, according to the statement.
“I was a good cross country skier, but I wasn’t really enjoying it,” she said in the statement. “I started rowing my senior year and my coach really helped me a lot with the college recruiting process. I applied to the University of Washington and they ended up recruiting me based on potential and turned me into a rower.”
She said her rowing career at the University of Washington proved to her that when one door closes, another one opens, according to the statement.
As Mooney continued to train at the collegiate level for rowing, she was quietly putting herself on the radar of the U.S. Olympic Team without even knowing it, including setting the world record for fastest 2,000 meter ergometer time.
“I didn’t even know what the national team was until my senior year of college,” Mooney said in the statement. “Setting a world record wasn’t even a goal of mine at the time and it didn’t even guarantee me a spot on the team. I had to keep working harder.”
As Mooney shared clips of her races from the Olympics, she explained to FAN members that participating as a member of the United States national team in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo was a moment in time that she will never forget. But still as an olympic athlete, she is learning to take it all in stride, according to the statement.
Tracey Arndt, co-director of Athletics and an elite athlete in her own right, echoed Mooney’s sentiments.
“Even at the olympic level you still may feel like you could have done better, but we have to give ourselves grace and understand that it’s about how you handle it next that matters,” Arndt said in the statement.
Mooney ended the roundtable discussion with FAN members by sharing a few pointers on how to cope with injuries and the importance of patience, how to deal with pre-game jitters, and most importantly, how to create attainable goals for yourself as you advance in your athletic career.
“As you continue in your athletic journey, make personal goals for yourself that you can attain each week and before you know it you will be at the top of your game,” she said in the statement.