Senior captains and representatives of varsity teams at Harvard contributed viewpoints based on personal experience from both their senior seasons and full varsity careers at Harvard. Each year the Senior Perspectives are compiled into a book and handed out at the Senior Letterwinner’s Dinner.
Senior Perspectives thus forms a valuable
portion of each team’s legacy to sport at Harvard and to the
permanent record built here by our varsity athletes. Throughout the
summer, these senior essays will be posted to GoCrimson.com for all
Radcliffe crew was started in 1971 by a group of women athletes at Radcliffe College, Harvard’s female counterpart, who wanted to learn the basics of rowing and have the opportunity to compete. In the following years, these women placed third (1972) and first (1973) at the national championships, and were selected to represent the United States at the World Championships in 1973.
While Harvard is now a coed institution, and Radcliffe College has been converted into Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Radcliffe crew stands as a testament to the strong women who came before us and not only had to compete against their opponents, but also against the precedents, ideologies, and norms of their time in order to race.
And when we reach the final strokes of the race, the most difficult and exhilarating strokes to the finish line, our bodies far into oxygen deprivation, I realize that I am part of something even bigger than my myself or my boat or my team; I am a part of one of the most historic rowing programs at one of the most historic schools in the United States. In the invigorating and excruciating final strokes of a 2,000 meter race, I am thankful for the women of Radcliffe who fought for the experience that has taught me so much about myself.