Q&A with junior Ananda Chou

March 22, 2003

“Ananda is really fit right now, and is also rowing well. She has made some excellent technical changes over spring break that really contribute to an increase in boat speed.”
-Debra Morgan, head coach

When did you start rowing?

I first started rowing my freshman year in High School. I heard that tall girls are good for the sport, and I needed PE credit.

What challenges did you face as a novice rower?

Having asthma my whole life, I had no athletic background prior to rowing, and I couldn’t even run half a mile! By the end of the year, my asthma rarely bothered me and I was named Most Improved. I was having a lot of fun, getting into really good shape, and making lots of friends, so I stuck with it and that’s what brought me here to UM.

What changes have you recently made to improve your rowing technique?

The changes that I made and am continuing to make are keeping the same body angle during the recovery and the drive of the stroke. This enables a good connection from the time the oar hits the water until it exits. Also, I have been working on dropping the oar into the water before the recovery even finishes, so that by the time it is in the water, I will not have to stop to put it in.This creates momentum, where the stroke is one long continuous motion rather than having a beginning and an end. And that creates boat speed through smoothness and a longer stroke.

How do you feel about your first Spring home event this Saturday?

I am really excited about the race on Saturday. After the scrimmage with Yale and being so close to them, I feel confident going into this weekend. Also, with more momentum by having a quick turnaround at the catch and the finish of the stroke, we will definitely have more boat speed than we did with Yale.