Catholic graduates Michael Grady and Alex Miklasevich are ready to row in the Olympics
Michael Grady and Alex Miklasevich have been rowing together since their first year at Central Catholic in the fall of 2011.
They have grown together in sport through their four years together with the Vikings program, through appropriate college careers, with opportunities at high-level camps and competitions nationally and beyond the borders of the USA
That bond stays strong as they train together at the National Team Training Center in Oakland, California.
Grady and Miklasevich are now even more connected as both have been selected to represent America on the US Olympic Rowing Team, which competes in Tokyo next month.
“It’s starting,” said Miklasevich of the Olympic selection.
“The first time I found out, I told my family and they were more excited than me. But it was really exciting to share with my friends and family and see how excited they were. It was so special to be able to share this with (Grady) too. We’ve come so far together in the last 10 or so years. We enjoyed the process and the ways in which we could become better together. ”
Miklasevich said he and Grady picked up the phone quickly and shared the news with their former Central Catholic trainer, Jay Hammond.
“It’s amazing what they have achieved,” said Hammond. “In this particular sport, this is the highest level that can be achieved. There are no professional rowing leagues or anything like that. They are at the forefront of their sport. I couldn’t be more proud. That is so wonderful. ”
Both Grady and Miklasevich have been in Oakland since October 2019, a few months after graduating from Cornell and Brown, respectively.
A two-month selection camp this spring helped US rowing officials and coaches assess the potential of different boat combinations to find the right fit for each event.
The lineups for the men’s and women’s boats selected by the camp – four-woman-four, four-man, four-woman, eight-man and eight-woman – were announced on June 4th.
The group consists of seven returning Olympians with three Olympic gold medals, and 22 of them have senior team experience.
“I’m so excited to go to Tokyo and I’m proud of this accomplishment, but I feel for the guys who have done so much hard work that won’t happen,” Grady said.
“It is not easy to get to this point and there have been so many who deserve it. The line between walking and not walking is often very thin. But I think they put together a very strong overall team and it’s so cool to share that experience with Alex. He’s like a brother to me and one of my best friends. ”
Grady will row in the men’s four, led by Olympic veteran Anders Weiss.
Weiss, a Brown graduate like Miklasevich, competed in the men’s couple in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. The men’s four finished seventh in Rio and has not won a gold medal since 1960.
“I think we’re a smart group with a lot of potential,” said Grady, a Bradford Woods native.
“Anders brings this experience with him. It’s great to have someone with you who’s gone through the ropes. I am confident that we can surprise some people if we move forward in the next few weeks. ”
Grady’s international experience includes a gold medal in the men’s eighth at the 2018 U23 World Rowing Championships, a fourth in eighth at the 2018 World Rowing Cup III, and a fourth in eighth at the 2017 U23 World Rowing Championships.
Miklasevich is in the group of eight men who are again Olympians at Austin Hack.
Hack helped the eighth of the men in Rio to fourth place, narrowly missing out on the podium and a medal.
“I saw every second of (Olympic rowing) in 2016,” said Miklasevich. “I loved rowing straight away, so in 2012 I watched as many rowing videos and races on TV as I could. By the end of my first year at Brown, I had met Anders Weiss and it was great to see how he made progress in the regatta and to see someone who went to my school and had gone through what I had been through by then made the (Olympia) stage. ”
Miklasevich finished second in the men’s eighth at the 2019 U23 Rowing World Championships and seventh in eighth at the 2019 World Rowing Cup III.
At the U23 Rowing World Championships in 2018, he won gold in the foursome.