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Airdrie rower to compete in Commonwealth regatta in Scotland

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 10:03 am

Olivia McMurray (third from left) will represent Canada at the Commonwealth Rowing Event in Motherwell, Scotland next month.
Olivia McMurray (third from left) will represent Canada at the Commonwealth Rowing Event in Motherwell, Scotland next month.
File Photo/Rocky View Publishing

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Airdrie rower Olivia McMurray is currently gearing up to represent Canada for the first time at an international event.

The 21-year-old rower will be part of the Canadian team that will be taking part in the 2014 Commonwealth Rowing Championships, which will be held at Strathclyde Park in Motherwell, Scotland on Aug. 9 and 10.

“I’m so excited about going over there to compete, and to have the chance to compete for Canada is going to be really special,” McMurray said. “I’m also looking forward to going over to Scotland as well, as this will be my first time competing over there.”

“I think this whole experience is really going to sink in for me once I put on the team Canada uniform,” she added. “I think any athlete would tell you that representing your country is an experience unlike any other, and I can’t wait to see what that feels like.”

McMurray, who was named to the Commonwealth team in June following a training camp at the National Training Centre in London, has been in Montreal since the end of June where she has been training for her upcoming trip to Scotland.

“We’ve been working on rowing of course, but we have also been doing cross-training work and lifting weights,” McMurray said. “In addition to that, I’ve also been working on sending out resumes for jobs in the fall, as I graduated from the University of Calgary with a bachelor of science in chemical engineering and a major in biomedical engineering.”

“I’ve been all over the place over the last little bit, so it’s been pretty interesting to be going from place to place,” she added. “However, going to different cities to train or compete is just part of the sport, so I’m used to it at this point.”

McMurray will be competing in two events at the Commonwealth Rowing Championships, as she will be teaming up with Meghan Robinson of Kingston, Ont. in the women’s pair event, in addition to being a part of the mixed eight’s team.

“This is the first time that I’ve ever been paired with Meghan, but we both get along really well,” McMurray said. “Right now, the biggest thing that we are working on is getting used to being together as a pair, and we should have that nailed down before we fly over to Scotland on Aug. 3.”

“The eight’s team will probably be decided once we get over to Scotland, and then all of us will train together there,” she added. “The team is full of people I’ve competed against but don’t know personally, but it’s nice to be on the same side as them and to get to know them.”

When it comes to her goals for the event in Scotland, McMurray is hoping to not only gain valuable lessons for future regattas, but to also help Canada finish at the top of podium.

“I only have one year left at the Under-23 level, so I’m really hoping to do well there that can help me out in the future,” McMurray said. “At this point, it’s all about learning things in order to become better.”

“As a team, Canada did very well four years ago at this event in Welland, Ont., and they finished at the top of the medal standings,” she added. “We hope that we can do well once again, but the competition gets tougher every year, so we are all going to go in and try out best.”


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