Sept. 6, 2011
The Off the Water series provides a “Getting To Know” piece on members of the University of Notre Dame rowing team in an effort to share with the fans details of what makes each of the athletes who they are outside of the realm of competition.
Olivia Kacsits is set to begin her second season with the Irish, after sitting with the varsity eight during her freshman campaign. The Rockford, Mich., native hopes the knowledge and experience gained in her first year proves invaluable going forward in her second season. Here is a chance to get to know Olivia Kacsits:
What stood out to you about Notre Dame that helped you know this was the place you wanted to attend?
“Everyone talks about `the atmosphere’ on campus, and as common an answer it is, it’s the reason I’m here. There’s a kind of implied security here; like the second you walk on campus, it doesn’t matter whether you’re Catholic, a current student, a prospective student, alum, or just someone from town. While you’re here, you’re one of us.”
When not rowing or taking care of schoolwork, what is the one thing you enjoy doing with your free time?
“I have a portable hammock that I love to set up behind my dorm and take naps, listen to music or flip through a magazine. Sometimes people join me (it’s a two-seater) and we chat.”
What is the most peaceful place to go to on campus?
“The Grotto, by far.”
What is the best place to eat on campus?
“South Dining Hall!”
What is the greatest thrill about rowing for the Irish?
“My greatest thrill is getting to be with my team. I don’t know if I have ever been in the company of, or will ever be in the company of, a more incredible group of women. Getting to watch each other grow as adults and into the amazing people we become is nothing short of thrilling.”
What is the most rewarding thing to you about rowing, in general?
“The most rewarding things about rowing are the things you learn that you can use on and off the water: poise, mental toughness, and recognizing the value of teamwork.”
What makes the group of girls on this team special?
“There’s a weird kind of love on this team. Weird in that we’re all incredibly goofy, have our own personality (and a lot of it), but we all manage to keep up the intensity when necessary. And I don’t doubt that we would all run in front of a bus for each other if the time called for it.”
Was there any one person who was inspirational/motivational to you being where you are today and if so what was the best piece of advice they offered up to you?
“My mother. There’s no one piece of advice I can say was the best. The best thing she ever did for me was to be an incredible example.”
If you had to choose between watching your favorite movie or listening to your favorite CD which would you choose and why?
“Favorite movie! I can’t just sit and listen to music for two hours. I need something a little more active.”
Growing up, and maybe even still today, what was the one type of cereal that you had to have and why?
“Lucky Charms. I thought marshmallows in cereal were just too cool.”
If you were trapped on an island, what are the three things that you would need to have with you and why?
“My hammock (because it’s an appropriate thing to have on an island and awesome to sleep it), my Leatherman (to make an attempt at using all the skills I learned from watching Bear Grylls), and the Harry Potter series (for something to do).”
If you could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?
“Paula Deen; she reminds me of my mom and we make a lot of her dishes for dinner, J.K. Rowling because I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan and would love to pick her brain and my mom because you can’t get much better than dinner with Mom. It makes the world right again.”