From Team USA: By Peggy Shinn | July 19, 2020
Forty years ago, Judy and Carlie Geer should have been walking into the Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Games Moscow 1980—the first sisters to ever row together in a double scull for Team USA.
It would have been the second Olympiad for Judy, the first for Carlie, who had never even seen crew until she had begged for time off from her camp counselor job so she could watch Judy compete in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. In those Games, Judy had rowed in the coxed four, finishing sixth, and Carlie—wanting to keep up with her big sister—said to their dad, “I’m going to row in the next Olympics with Judy.”
Instead, they stayed home. They did not know at the time that they would stick with competitive rowing through the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, where Carlie would win a silver medal in the single sculls.
“I probably could not have told you right away that I was definitely going to keep training and racing for another four years,” said Carlie by Zoom from a cabin at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in northern Vermont. “All I knew was I didn’t want to stop because I was loving what I was doing.”
Judy echoed Carlie’s thoughts. She has loved rowing ever since setting foot in a practice barge at Smith College in the early 1970s.
This realization—that they were rowing because they enjoyed it, not because they coveted Olympic or world championship medals—made the devastation of the 1980 Olympic boycott easier to digest. And the lessons learned have helped Judy guide her children in their athletic pursuits. Hannah and Emily Dreissigacker competed in the 2014 and 2018 Olympic Winter Games in biathlon, respectively, and brother Ethan also competed internationally in biathlon…read full article HERE