Collins takes home the bronze medal
- Collins takes home the bronze medal
At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Trinity College was well represented. Christine Smith Collins, a 1991 graduate of Trinity, and rowing partner Sarah Garner captured the bronze medal in the women's lightweight double sculls race.
The duo, competing in the first race of the day on September 24, got off to a quick start and maintained the lead at the 1,000-meter mark. Teams from Romania and Germany were able to pass them in the third quarter of the race and take the gold and silver medals. Collins and Garner finished third with a time of 7:06.37.
Collins, who has won four World Championship titles and medaled at several other competitions with Garner as her partner, is the second Trinity graduate to compete in the Olympic Games. The first Trinity athlete to compete in the Olympics was Alex Guild, a member of the Class of 1961, who played on the U.S. Olympic men's soccer team in 1960.
In 1998, Collins combined with Garner to win the World Championship title, but they lost in the finals at the 1999 World Championships. Prior to that competition, Collins had been out of action for four months because of a thumb injury.
"The Olympic experience in Sydney was extraordinary for me. To be surrounded by the greatest athletes in so many different sports and to take part in such a historic event can only be described as overwhelming," says Collins. "What a great reward for 13 years of hard work, especially the last three or four when my specific goal was to compete in the Olympics."
Collins, originally from Darien, CT, is an attorney, currently practicing law at the Bowditch and Dewey firm in Worcester, MA. She rowed varsity at Trinity for four years under former Bantam coach Norm Graff from 1988 to 1991 and was captain as a senior. Her husband, Matt Collins, is a former national team rower and 1993 world champion.
Collins remembers fondly her collegiate experience at Trinity, both in and out of the water. She says, "First of all, had I not gone to Trinity, I would never have continued to row through college. Because I was physically smaller, I could have gotten lost in a bigger program. The smaller, supportive environment that the Trinity rowing community--and especially my coach Norm Graff--provides for athletes is truly special." Collins also believes that being encouraged to participate in a number of activities at Trinity taught her something about time management. She says, "I had the opportunity to row and work at the radio station, and that has helped me successfully juggle everything I'm involved with now."
After returning from Sydney, Collins took a month off to enjoy her success and to visit elementary schools to tell children what it is like to compete in the Olympics.
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