London Olympics Hometown Heroes: Kristen Hedstrom
CONCORD, Mass. (WHDH) -- Rower Kristen Hedstrom has gone from the historic town of Concord, Mass. to the Olympic stage.
“I’m looking forward to the racing the most, that’s the part I love,” said Hedstrom.
The 26 year old is a Concord-Carlisle grad whose Olympic training took her to the west coast. While she’s still a Bay State girl at heart, she does admit the climate in California is a plus.
“When I trained in Boston and then Wisconsin you have to be inside all winter long. This is definitely a huge change for me, to be able to row all winter,” said Hedstrom.
Hedstrom and teammate Julie Nichols will row for Team U.S.A. in the lightweight women’s double skulls, but earning that spot came down to one nail biter of a race.
“Over just about a 7-minute race we qualified by .09 seconds,” said Hedstrom.
Hedstrom said she and her teammate have to work in exact symmetry, something that doesn’t come easy.
“While it may look like its right in sync, we can feel things in the boat, and obviously we’re very trained to feel just slight differences. It takes a lot of hours of training together to try to make everything match perfectly and make the flow feel like it’s working how we want it to,” said Hedstrom.
She says because the competition is so equally matched it will be a tight race for Olympic gold.
“Pretty much the way we look at it there is about 10 teams that are going to be very close in speed to each other. So we’re talking within a couple seconds of each other,” said Hedstrom.
But she says bring it on.
“I’m really looking forward to being on the course,” said Hedstrom. “Getting the opportunity to race these countries at the Olympics, that’s the pinnacle. It will be really cool.”
When She isn’t racing, she is lending a helping hand. She mentors elementary school children.