BEIJING (BP)--Rowing wasn't even on Anna Cummins' radar as she prepared to enter college at the University of Washington. In high school she competed in basketball and track, and she expected to run in college.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Rowing
But Cummins soon discovered that God's plans for her didn't include track.
"I grew up as a pretty good miler, and running was integrally part of my character," said Cummins, a member of the U.S. Olympic rowing team. "When I was not recruited to the University of Washington track team, but rather the rowing team, it took a lot of prayer to let go of the old and try the new. Little did I know that God made me perfectly to row."
Cummins, competing in her second Olympics, is part of both the women's eight and the women's pair teams. In the women's eight, Cummins and her American teammates will race in the finals on Aug. 17. In the earlier women's pair, she and her partner Portia McGee didn't qualify for the finals.
She didn't win a medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. This time, her goal is the gold. Cummins credits her coach, Tom Terhaar, with helping to improve on her weaknesses, mainly her technical skills.
"The technical changes I acquired helped me to get more out of each row," Cummins said. "Also, my strength has increased as a result of these more efficient rowing practices. I have no regrets and feel ready for my best in Beijing."
Cummins' journey to Beijing began during her college years. Her high school track coach had connections with the rowing coach at the University of Washington and helped her plan a visit with the team. Cummins admits to knowing nothing about the sport.
"One of the coaches I met said I could take rowing as far as I wanted before I had ever even taken a stroke, and she was so sincere," Cummins said. "She really believed, so I thought, why not give it a try for a year? Two Olympic Games, four world titles and four NCAA championship trophies later, I'm still at it." Read More