News

Caroline Queen '14 Soaks Up Village Life While Preparing for Olympic Kayak Competition

by Davidson College
Caroline Queen practicing for the Olympics
Queen practices her strokes at the National Whitewater Center (Callan Bryan photo)

U.S. Olympic kayaker Caroline "Bam Bam" Queen '14, Davidson's first Olympic competitor as a current Davidson student, is "training hard and recovering well" from that daily effort in London's Olympic village, according to her latest blog posts (see links below) and emails.

"I'm excited to be here representing the USA at the Olympic level, I'm training hard and taking in the whole experience," Queen emailed on Tuesday afternoon.

Queen's Olympic debut is scheduled the afternoon 2:12 p.m. London time, Monday, July 30. (See NBC link for full schedule.)

Hailing from Darnestown, Md., Queen found her passion at age nine.

"Kayaking was a unique sport with new challenges. Even though the other kids were two or three years older with more experience, the hardest part was being patient with myself. Being impatient helped me, because I was always on the upper end of the learning curve, always pushing myself. I still strive to be as good as the best people."

Kayaking was partly responsible for her coming to Davidson. Her kayaking friend Austin Kieffer '12, who also competed in Olympic trials earlier this year, had chosen Davidson partly because of its proximity to the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

"I thought if Austin can make it work at Davidson, it might be the right place for me, too. When I came to visit, he was just having a ball," she recalled.

From her first semester at Davidson, Queen knew she was in the right place. A psychology major with a minor in education, she put her interest in behavioral economics to work in the Davidson Sports Marketing Association. "It makes me think creatively, and it does some good."

In academics, too, Queen paddles the rapids between patience and pushing through. "The distribution requirements encourage exploration into subjects you might not have pursued," she said. "I appreciate the way Davidson pushes me. I think it makes me better."

For now, paddling is the prism through which she sees the world, even the possibility of Davidson study abroad in an Arab-speaking country. "It's the only region of the world I'll probably never travel to for kayaking purposes!"

Three other former Davidson students have gone on to the Olympics. Rocky Crosswhite '69 started on three Australian basketball teams, two of them as captain in Mexico City in 1976 and in Moscow in 1980. Billy Masse '88 played baseball on the United States team in 1988 in Seoul. International one-yearstudent Robert Eenhoorn played for the Netherlands in Sydney in 2000.

And Head Baseball Coach Dick Cooke has been a Team USA coach twice, on manager Davey Johnson's staff at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, and as a member of Tommy Lasorda's staff at the 2000 Olympics in Australia.

For more on Carolina Queen in London, visit these links:

NBC Olympics (click "Results & Schedules" tab)

Home Page

Official Olympic Games Page

Huffington Post blog

Twitter feed

Daybook Davidson blog

Charlotte Observer "Olympic Voices"