Olympians Reflect on Competing for Country and Community

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Ramsey ’22 and Reckford ’15 say representing the U.S. and Dartmouth was an honor.

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Molly Reckford, Dong Seon “Peter” Kim, Ariana Ramsey, Madison Hughes, Isalys Quiñones
Clockwise from top left, Molly Reckford ’15 and Team USA partner Molly Sechser; Dong Seon “Peter” Kim ’12; Ariana Ramsey ’22; Isalys Quiñones ’19, Thayer ’20; and Madison Hughes ’15 compete in the Tokyo Olympics. (AP Photos)
8/02/2021
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As Dartmouth’s run in the Tokyo Olympics wrapped up this weekend with Team USA’s sixth-place finish in women’s rugby 7s, rugby player Ariana Ramsey ’22 and rower Molly Reckford ’15 shared some thoughts with Dartmouth News about representing their country and community.

Ramsey, who scored her first Olympic try in a 17-7 win over host team Japan and later suffering an injury in a later match against China, is now turning her attention to returning to campus for the fall term.

“It was an honor representing Team USA in the Olympics. I’ve finally accomplished my biggest dream at the age of 21, and my next goal is conquering Dartmouth College,” wrote Ramsey, in transit from Tokyo. “I won’t be playing at Dartmouth this year due to injury, but I’ll be back next year!”

Reckford, who with rowing partner Michelle Sechser finished fifth after qualifying for the medals final in women’s lightweight double sculls, says it was during her time in Tokyo that she saw that she was rowing for more than just a national team.

“When I first imagined making the team and going to the Olympics, I had only thought about it within the context of racing for my country. As I process the Olympic experience, I realize that the flag on our uniforms is only one facet of what, and who, we represent. The outpouring of support I’ve received from the Dartmouth community, as well as my friends, family, colleagues, and many others, has led me to see that we represent everyone who has had an influence on our lives,” Reckford wrote after returning home.

Reckford noted that the USA women’s rowing team had a representative from every Ivy League school, for the first time ever.

“I could not have been more proud to be Dartmouth’s alumna in the group,” she says. “More than that, we represent incoming and current students at our alma maters, aspiring athletes in our sport, and everyone who saw our story and asked themselves if they could be bold and take risks in their own field.” 

“I am grateful to Dartmouth and Dartmouth Rowing for helping me, in ways big and small, achieve this longshot dream,” Reckford says.