Former ESPN Employee Rows to Finals in Rio

Meghan OLeary
Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Meghan O’Leary did not grow up rowing. She played volleyballl and softball and only started rowing six years ago at Riverfront Rowing in Hartford while working as a programming coordinator at ESPN in Bristol. Now, she's competing in the Olympics in Rio.

ESPN did a feature on her unusual journey to the Olympics and O’Leary said during an interview she was just looking for something to do and rowing seemed pretty common in New England. 

Next, she opened Google, searched rowing in Hartford and found Riverfront Rowing in Hartford.

The rest is history.

Six months later, she was invited to join the team at the U.S. Rowing training center in New Jersey, she told ESPN, then she made the decision to leave the sports network to pursue her Olympic dream.

O’Leary and Ellen Tomek rowed on Tuesday morning and came in third in the women’s double sculls semifinals, advancing to the finals

They will row again on Friday morning at 7:40 a.m. and you can watch online. 

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