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Rooting for Mooney

Vermont native in Tokyo with US Crew team
Published: Jul. 24, 2021 at 8:25 PM EDT
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KEENE VALLEY, N.Y. (WCAX) - Peru native Brooke Mooney is a member of the US rowing team, competing with the Women’s 8. Late Friday night Eastern time, Mooney and the Americans rallied from the back to edge Romania and Australia in their heat race, finishing in a time of 6 minutes, 8.69 seconds. With that win, the US boat advances to Thursday’s final.

On Friday evening before the race, we spoke with Brooke’s mother Tamra to get her thoughts on seeing her daughter compete on the Olympic stage.

“Got teary watching the Opening Ceremonies today,” Tamra said. “I mean it’s a little surreal, and now it’s real. And it’s pretty exciting, these little kids, they’re now big kids who had dreams and they’re living them.”

Now Brooke wasn’t always a rower. After competing with the junior national nordic skiing teams growing up, Mooney transferred to Vermont Academy for her senior year and picked up crew.

“She didn’t really like the individual sport aspect of that,” Tamra said. “She’s definitely much more of a team sport kind of girl.”

But Tamra says Brooke’s background on the snow played a key role in getting her to where she is now.

“I mean training for Nordic skiing is an intense aerobic training regimen that you really have to be committed to,” Tamra said. “And it’s endurance, fitness, strength, and the whole package. So that’s a huge foundation for being successful as a rower.”

The Mooney’s have since moved from Peru to the other side of the Lake over in Keene Valley, New York. But having spent so much time in one of the most fertile recruiting grounds for *Winter* Olympic athletes you’ll find anywhere in the US, the family isn’t phased by Brooke’s moment.

“Having revolved around with a lot of the Winter Olympic athletes who were our neighbors, it’s sort of the hometown language back there,” Tamra said. “It kind of feels natural honestly in some ways. We’re not new to the energy and the success.”

Unfortunately, like everyone else, the Mooney’s are having to watch Brooke compete from home...but Tamra says there is a silver lining.

“You know it was really never an option I think,” Tamra said. “We knew pretty early on given the COVID situation. So I think we all sort of switched gears to thinking of it differently. And truthfully, it really is about their competition and their experience.”

As for what it would mean if Brooke is able to bring home an Olympic medal?

“Of course, it would be a wonderful honor,” Tamra said. “This Olympics I think unlike any other, all the predictions are based off of World Championships from 2019. And I know their team has at least 4 new rowers than were in the boat in 2019 so it’s really hard to know. Hopefully it’s anybody’s race, and hopefully it’s the USA.”

The Women’s 8 final is scheduled for Thursday night at 11 p.m. Eastern time.

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