Meghan Musnicki, or “Moose” as her friends call her, brought home a gold medal from the London games in 2012.
In Rio, she’s not only defending an Oympic gold medal, but Musnicki and the U.S. Women’s 8 are hoping to continue a winning streak that dates back to 2006 when the team won the World Rowing Championships.
The all-star athlete stands at 5 feet 11 inches and is a powerhouse on the water, but perhaps her strongest muscle is her heart.
“My father passed away in my freshman year in 2002. My freshman year of college and the Christmas before he passed away, he gave me a bracelet,” Musnicki said. “I race all of my races with an oar on my neck and it used to be the bracelet my dad gave me for Christmas.”
It was also her dad who gave her the special nickname.
“Actually it started by with my father and my uncle. It’s from my last name Musnicki,” the Olympic rower said.
Musnicki comes from the village of Naples, New York, with a population just over 1,000 people.
“There’s an amazing since of community, and it’s pretty special to know that an entire community of people are behind you.”