John Stillings and Susan Broome attended Meadowdale High School in Edmonds, Washington, and the University of Washington, which is where each took their first step toward becoming a member of the U.S. Olympic rowing team.
Stillings, a coxswain, had wrestled and been a distance runner in high school before joining the crew team in college. He competed at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games and won the silver medal in the men’s four with coxswain.
Broome, who is 6 feet 1, had been a three-sport athlete in high school but said she never really found her comfort spot until she joined the crew team at Washington. “I really didn’t have a sparkling athletic career in high school,” Broome said, noting that by her senior year at Meadowdale she had given up basketball and volleyball and was only a member of the swim team.
But at Washington, Broome quickly fell in love with rowing. She was impressed with the opportunity to travel to the Pac-10 Conference championships and progressively moved up in sport. Broome was an alternate at Los Angeles 1984 and then rowed in the women’s eight that finished sixth at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games.
Listen to their StoryCorps conversation as Broome and Stillings discuss growing up north of Seattle, their paths to the Olympic Games and more.