Stroke of Inspiration

New A. Morin 2000 shell bears a winning designation.

Patrick Garrity
July 26, 2019
Exeter Varsity crew captains christening the A. Morin shell named for an Exeter alum

Girls crew co-captains Amelia Lee ’19 and Maddy Potter ’19 christen the A. Morin 2000.

When Exeter surged to victory in the girls second-eight final at the New England championships this spring, it had an Olympic medalist in the boat. Or, more accurately, an Olympic medalist’s name on the boat.

Andreanne Morin’s eponymous shell — the A. Morin 2000 — capped its first season in proper fashion, living up to the lofty standards set by its namesake. Morin, a class of 2000 Phillips Exeter Academy graduate, made three Olympic teams for her native Canada, punctuating her rowing career with a silver medal in the 2012 London Games.

A week before Exeter rowers took it for a victory lap, the A. Morin 2000 was officially dedicated in a ceremony at Saltonstall Boathouse. The honoree, alas, could not attend. Now a corporate lawyer based in Paris and the mother of 2-year-old and 7-month-old boys, Morin decided a transatlantic flight with a toddler and an infant was a challenge even a three-time Olympian wasn’t ready to take on. Her prepared remarks, before the boat’s bow was doused with sparkling cider, were read by Sally Morris, Big Red girls varsity coach and instructor in classical languages.

In them, Morin spoke about juggling her academics with her racing career and earning degrees at Princeton and the University of Montreal while continuing to train; about overcoming crushing failures and injuries; and about the inspiration she drew from her teammates, “my sisters and best friends.”

She closed with this advice: “Set a high goal and then set the intermediate goals to achieve it. It has to be simple, realistic and it’s OK if it sounds crazy. You also have to be emotionally attached to it. You need to want it so bad that it hurts. I hope you remember to find your passion, keep academics in parallel to your athletic careers and not settle, as you never know how far you can go with your dream.”

Editor's note: This article first appeared in the summer 2019 issue of The Exeter Bulletin.