Newton is known for a lot of things: , its restaurant scene, its , its , and of course, a certain fig-filled .
This summer, though, Newton will have another claim to fame: home of Olympic rower Gevvie Stone.
Stone, who grew up in Newton Centre, will be competing later this month in the women's single sculls event, a 2000-meter race with single rowers.
For Stone, rowing runs in the family. Her parents, Gregg and Lisa Stone, were elite rowers on the U.S. National Team and Olympic team. Her father is still listed as one of her coaches on her U.S. Rowing Team profile.
The hometown rower currently lives in Cambridge, MA and is attending Tufts Medical School (Class of 2014).
Patch had a chance to ask Stone a few questions leading up to the London Olympic Games, which start Fri., July 27.
Patch: What part of Newton are you from? What high school did you go to?
Stone: I am from Newton Centre and went to . Then, I went to the Winsor School starting in fifth grade.
Patch: Tell us a little bit about training – how has it been since you found out you made the Olympic team?
Gevvie Stone: I found out I made the team on May 22 in Switzerland at the Olympic Qualification Regatta. When I returned home, I was lucky to get an easier week to recover from racing. Then, it was back to volume and endurance work for a few weeks. Recently, I've started doing a lot more speed work, which is always fun.
Patch: Tell us about your event and what sets it apart from other events.
Stone: I am racing the women's single. Like all rowing races, it is a 2000m race, but because I am rowing alone, it takes me a bit longer and a few more strokes to get down the course than in the bigger boats. The most unique thing about the single is that in what is called "the ultimate team sport", I am the only one on my "team". Going down the course at full speed alone takes a lot of self-motivation and drive. I am responsible for things that go well, and I am responsible for things that go poorly. On the fun side of things, I think the single scullers get to know their international competition more than other boats as we have no one to talk to on the water but each other. I've really enjoyed getting to know the women I race against.
Patch: What is the hardest part about training for your event?
Stone: The toughest part for me about the single is training alone. I am responsible for getting all my workouts in, and most of them are alone. I'm the only person who knows whether or not I did them, and some afternoons when I'm tired, it takes a lot of motivation and self-talk to get myself to the boathouse. It also can get lonely occasionally.
Patch: How long have you been rowing? Why did you start?
Stone: I first rowed casually at my summer camp (Camp Onaway) in 1999. My first real rowing practice was in 2000 when I began rowing at the Winsor School during fall of my sophomore year.
Patch: What are your emotions going into the Olympic games?
Stone: Of course, I'm excited! And nervous too! As far as the rowing goes, I'm trying to think about the race as any other international race. The goal is to get from the start to the finish as fast I possibly can. Rowing is the first week, so I'm lucky I get to appreciate and to enjoy the Olympics during the second week.
Patch: When do you head to England?
Stone: I head over July 19th.
Patch: What are you looking forward to the most over the next few weeks?
Stone: I'm ready to race. I've been training a long time for four seven and a half minute races. I love rowing and racing, and I'm excited to get on the water. I'm also looking forward to that second week: getting the chance to watch other Olympic events and wearing all the great gear we get.
Patch: Are there any other Olympic events you’re planning to watch while you’re in England? Why?
Stone: To be honest, I haven't looked carefully enough at the schedule to know which events are when. Also, I think it depends when athlete tickets are available. If I could have my pick, I would love to watch some swimming and a women's soccer game--both sports I played growing up.
Patch: Any special messages for family back home?
Stone: I'm lucky that most of my family is coming to London. But, for all my family friends and supporters in Newton: Thanks! And Go USA!
The women's single scull heats begin Sat., July 28 at 1:30 p.m. (London time) and will be held at the Eton Dorney Rowing Centre. Stay tuned to Newton Patch for updates on Stone's results and progress!