81 Years Young, Eve Green Still Rows Her Boat

This weekend, over 1,000 rowers compete at the USRowing Masters National Championship in Florida.

No one knows who will win — that’s the beauty of sports. But one thing is certain: The oldest female athlete there is Eve Green.

And the 81-year-old from Westport is sure to be in contention.

She’s drawn the admiration of many — for many reasons. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune profiled her yesterday, in a long story.

Eve Green (center) shows her stuff. (Photo by Elaine Litherland/ Sarasota Herald Tribune)

Eve Green (center) shows her stuff. (Photo by Elaine Litherland/ Sarasota Herald Tribune)

It began with her diagnosis of breast cancer 20 years ago. Wearing her rowing gear helped Eve get through radiation.

“It was a psychological thing,” she said in the paper. “I told myself, ‘I’m not a cancer patient. I’m a rower.’

And quite a rower, too. She is competing in 5 events, over 4 days. The Masters limit is 6.

“She’s my hero,” 50-year-old Valerie Leinfelder — 1 of 45 Saugatuck Rowing Club members at the Florida races — said. “She shows that there’s nothing stopping you to get out there and keep going and be a healthy adult well into your golden years.

“I want to be Eve when I’m in my 80s.”

Saugatuck Rowing clubThe Herald-Tribune said that Eve rows every Thursday morning with  coach, Nicky Donea, a former member of the Romanian National and Olympic team.

“She’s a fighter and believes in competition,” Donea said. “Every single time I take her on the water, she says, ‘I love it when it goes smooth.’

“If her stroke goes smooth, she always says, ‘I love this. I want to do this forever.’ ”

When Eve — a Coleytown Middle School teacher — retired at age 62, she planned to go back to school.

That didn’t happen.

“I figured that if I learned a new trade,” she said, “nobody was going to hire me anyway, so I decided to become a jock.”

As a coxswain, she said, “At first I was so nervous that I had to make the boat slow down under bridges. I was afraid I would hit them.

“Then I decided it looked like a lot of fun and I could row also.”

She could — and she does. Eve competes in a dozen or so events a year. She’s raced overseas, in Canada, at Boston’s Head of the Charles Regatta — and now in Florida.

Some people go there to retire.

Eve Green is there to race.

(Hat tip to alert “06880” readers Gary Singer and Ben Wilder for sending the newspaper link along.)

10 responses to “81 Years Young, Eve Green Still Rows Her Boat

  1. I was inspired by so many teachers in Math, Science, English and History (not to mention PE and the occasional inspirational substitute teacher). But, even more importantly to me, Eve and Tom Green were two of the greatest teachers I had in my 13 years of Westport of education.

    • Evan Stein ’92

    • Thanks so much Evan! You have brightened my corner no end. Tom and I think of you often and talk about the wonderful fascinating group you were.
      We would love to see you sometime. Lets make a date.

  2. I’m not sure if you did this intentionally, but what an interesting juxtaposition: seeing the two stories in succession about 12-year-old Little Leaguers and an 81-year-old rower who only took up her sport in her sixties after retirement.

    I suppose that, in combination, the two stories illustrate the many positive aspects of sports (in contrast to the negative aspects that have been highlighted on the local sports talk shows recently with the PED scandal).

    Eve Green is a true role model, and a worthy one at that.

  3. Eve, all my family is cheering you on!

  4. I’ll be cheering for you Ms. Green; remembering you from my days as a CJHS student I am not at all surprised to read of your athletic adventurism and dedication. I am however thrilled for you. Go get ’em!

  5. Eve
    You even inspire those of us who are 83.
    Love Lois

  6. Anne Leonard Hardy

    Dan! Thanks for highlighting the marvelous Eve Green. On so many levels, this gentlewoman performs wonders. Go Eve!

  7. Eve, I well remember the days when you brought your science classes from Coleytown to observe my pond. Best of luck. Joan McCarthy

  8. Kerstin Warner

    Eve – you amaze me! I remember the work you and Tom did preparing students for the Johns Hopkins Talent Search. I was impressed with your world travels and worldly spirit – and I’m delighted to cheer you on now!