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Spartan Emily Regan Off to Rio for Women's Eight for 2016 Summer Olympic Games



East Lansing, Mich. -- Former Spartan rower Emily Regan will compete for the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Regan will be a part of the U.S. women's eight which seeks a historic 11th-consecutive world or Olympic title in Rio. Fellow Spartan Christie Daiss, a 2006 graduate, will also head to Rio as part of the medical team, and has been assigned to the athlete village.

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US Rowing announced its Olympic boat camp nominations on Monday, June 20, with the team expected to be finalized by the end of the week. Selection for the crews was determined by lineup evaluations and training camp performance in Chula Vista, Calif., and Princeton, N.J.

"Every summer we have seen Emily get a little bit closer to her goal," noted Michigan State head coach Matt Weise. "This is the pinnacle, that goal that she set when she first left school to join the residency program. There's countless hours and sacrifices that go into putting oneself into position to make an Olympic team, and to see that everything she has put into it has led her to her dream is just amazing. We could not possibly be prouder of what she has accomplished, and we're excited to have our first-ever representative of Michigan State among the Olympic rowers. She is truly deserving and a fantastic representative of our University and our rowing program.

“I'm also really excited for Christie - the Olympics are an amazing experience, and the assignment to work in the athlete village will be one that I'm sure will create a ton of memories," continued Weise. "These are two excellent examples of "Spartans Will" - and I could not be prouder as a coach to have these athletes representing our program and our University."

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The most decorated rower in the history of the Spartan rowing program, Regan has been in residency with US Rowing since her graduation in 2010, and learned on Monday that she earned the coveted spot on the Olympic team for the Summer Games in Rio. Regan owns eight international medals in her six years since joining the US Rowing program in Princeton: five gold and one silver medal from World Championships, one gold from the World Cup, and also earned a gold medal in the U23 eight in 2010. In 2013, Regan was a part of the US women's eight that set a world-record time at World Rowing Cup III in Rotsee/Lucerne, Switzerland. That time of 5:54.160 is a record which still stands.

"I'm not sure I have the right words to express the depth of my gratitude for Matt and the rowing program at Michigan State," noted MSU's newest Olympian. "I was always an athlete, but I only learned to row once I got to college - and I know that this opportunity wouldn't exist without Michigan State University.

"I first had the dream of competing in the Olympics when I was eight years old," continued the Buffalo, NY native. "I watched the 1996 Olympics and fell in love with the competition and the spirit of everything. For this dream to become a reality 20 years later is so special. I went to London to watch my teammates compete four years ago, and I am so excited to have the opportunity to compete with them this time around."

The rowing events for the 2016 Summer Games will take place on the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas which is located in the heart of Rio with a spectacular backdrop of mountains, the Tijuca Forest and Christ the Redeemer statue at Corcovado. Trials begin on August 6 with the final medals -- including the men's and women's 8+ - will be contested on Aug. 13.

Another rowing alumnae heading to the Summer Games will be 2006 MSU graduate Christie Daiss. Daiss, who competed for the Spartans from 2002-06, will serve as part of the medical services team in Rio for Team USA. She has been assigned to work as a pharmacist in the Olympic Village.

Daiss helped MSU to its highest-ever finish at the 2006 NCAA Championships, where the Spartans finished sixth as a team. Daiss was a part of the second varsity eight which won the petite final in 2006, and she also made the NCAA Regatta squad in 2005 as a spare. The Eaton Rapids native currently works as a pharmacist at the Michigan State Clinical Center Pharmacy on campus.