At age 20, USA Canoe/Kayak team member Caroline Queen is both a college student and Olympic athlete, managing to fit an intense training regimen in between term papers and exams.
Unfortunately, the Maryland native had a short run in London, failing to qualify for the finals. But her spirits were high.
“It’s been great, this is the best course in the world, and I’m privileged to have had the chance the race here and have no regrets,” she told NBC.
We chatted with her about her sport before she hopped on the plane:
How did you get interested in this particular sport? I started pretty early, at age nine. It was really a fluke. I started paddling at summer camp, and then I just kept going with it.
What have you been doing to prepare for the Olympics? Typically, I’m on the water a minimum of five-six days per week and cross-training as well. I think it’s really important to diversify the training program, so I also play club field hockey at my school and do some weight lifting and running. Sometimes I even go to cardio dance!
I like to change it up a lot. But, this year I’ve found that the more time I spend in the boat, the better, so I’ve definitely been focusing on that.
Do you have to pay special attention to your diet as well? I think I just try to stay balanced—it’s a word that describes my training over all. My family did a great job of raising me with a healthy diet, so it wasn’t that much of a challenge for me as I become an elite athlete.