Olivia F. Coffey
An elite rower, always keeping her team motivated
Olivia “Liv” F. Coffey ’11, known for her huge smile and rowing prowess, always has the perfect words of encouragement for the Radliffe heavyweight crew team. At Harvard, Coffey has been a prominent fixture in the top women’s heavyweight boat since her freshman year, putting aside her uncertainties and using her substantial experience to try for the Olympic team. “I’m not sure if I can make the national team, the training will be really tough,” says Coffey humbly.
Also indications of Coffey’s promising rowing future are her accomplishments outside of Harvard. Her boat placed second at the 2009 Under-23 World Championships and won gold at the same race in 2010, when she was in the bow seat—making her the first across the finish line.
“You think as soon as it happens you will be thrilled, but the race is too exhausting,” says Coffey. “Later, it felt pretty incredible.”
Coffey’s genetics also forecast her rowing success. Her father, a 1976 Olympic silver medalist for rowing, and her mother, also a former elite rower, never pressured her to row. “It was always just assumed,” Liv says. “I idolize my parents...that contributed to it.”
Rachel E. Rauh ’11, co-captain of the women’s heavyweight team and Coffey’s high school classmate, says, “Liv is a natural leader, both on and off the water. Everyone on the team sees her as a role model.”
In addition to her team spirit, Coffey is also a dedicated economics concentrator with a secondary in computer science. “To finish college without learning anything about computer science is to do a huge disservice to yourself,” Coffey says. She aspires to one day become an avid iPhone application creator. However, it may be a while before iPhone users benefit from Coffey’s apps, as she intends to try out for the 2012 US Olympic Team after graduation.
Although iPhone app design and business school remain her long-term goals, Coffey’s current focus is the Olympics. “2016 is long away, but if I enjoy training for 2012, I can see myself sticking with it,” says Coffey. “Who knows, maybe I’ll even try for 2020 at the ripe old age of 31.”