Dec. 17, 2008
Providence, R.I. - Senior Zach Gazzaniga (Sharon, VT) is a four-year member of the Brown men's crew, and was honored by his teammates recently when they elected him as a captain for the 2008-09 season. As the team wraps up a very successful fall season, Zach took the time to share some of his experiences as a Brown rower.
1. What is your athletic background? How did you get started with rowing?
I started rowing in high school where I also played football. One day in my sophomore year, the rowing coach came up to me and said, "You are tall, you should row." I said, "Ok" and I fell in love with the sport from the first practice. It was hard being an offensive lineman and a rower because I had to go from being fat to fit from the fall to spring every year.
2. What other things are you involved in at Brown? How did you get into those activities?
I am the president of the Harry Potter Club at Brown. Two years ago I confronted the standing president of the Harry Potter Club to an incantations-off (essentially a wand duel). Needless to say I defeated her with ease and became the new president. I have yet to lose since and have held on to the presidential position.
3. What is your favorite Brown rowing memory and why was it significant to you?
My favorite memory is from the semi-final of the IRA National Championship my sophomore year. In our heat the day before we had a really good first half of the race and were able to cruise to the finish line. The next day, however, we found ourselves in 4th place at the halfway mark and started sprinting with 1000 meters to go and walked right through the field to win the semi-final. At the end of the race we were completely exhausted but pumping with adrenaline. That race was significant because it showed the power you can have when everyone commits to each other pulls as hard as they can.
4. What are some of the biggest lessons that you have taken away from the coaching staff at Brown and from the sport of rowing itself?
The biggest lesson that Paul and the other coaches have taught our team is to not be afraid of challenges. In rowing and every other sport there are going to be times when things seem too hard or impossible and the coaches teach us that when you are in those situations you must put forth your best effort and attack the challenges without fear of failing.
5. What is some advice that you would have for incoming freshmen as they begin their career at Brown?
Brown is such a great University academically and athletically. There are so many opportunities and so much support here for students to engage in whatever interests them. My advice is don't let those opportunities go to waste and from your first day on college hill make sure you are stubbornly pursuing the things that interest you.