Keira Collins is a freshman at Acton Academy and a varsity rower at the Texas Rowing Center. This summer she was invited to row in the Olympic Development Program for the first time, and last Thursday I got a chance to pick her brain about how she got to where she is now, where she hopes to go from here, and what her advice is for aspiring rowers.
Keira's journey as a rower began at the end of her sixth-grade year when her dad signed her up for the recreational crew. It was there that she found her love for the sport and her love for the comradery that rowing provides. From there, Keira would join TRC as a novice before earning a spot on the varsity squad in her 8th-grade year, and then when everything was looking up for her, COVID hit and derailed the rowing season.
It was during this time when Keira really started to push herself to be the best athlete she could be. While most people sat on their hands waiting for practice and regattas to start again, Keira went to work, spending the free time COVID gave her to improve rapidly and immensely. She worked day after day to become the best version of herself as a rower, so when the season resumed, she could capitalize on the opportunity that COVID provided her. This work would pay off as she became not only one of the best rowers at her club, but one of the best rowers in the nation.
Keira hopes to learn a lot from the Olympic Development Program this year, in hopes to improve even further. She also believes she could win multiple medals in the competition at the end of the summer. Keria hopes that in the years to come she can continue to improve and be asked back to the program again. She also hopes that she will be able to row in college and perhaps, if all the chips fall in the correct place, one day row in the Olympics.
Before we ended the interview, Keira gave one last piece of advice to aspiring rowers all around the world. She said that, "If you truly do want to be great putting the work in now will pay off. You might not see the value in it now, but one day you will thank your previous self for doing what they could to help you reach your goal." A piece of advice that truly does embody Keira both as a rower and a person.