Natalie Dell, won the bronze-medal in rowing at the 2012 London Olympics
The United States sent 539 athletes to London to compete in the Olympic Games during the summer of 2012. Natalie Dell ‘07 was one of the 19 Penn State students and alumni among them.
A rower since joining Penn State University’s club program her freshman year, Natalie continued training while earning her Master’s degree at Boston University. After three more disciplined years of hard work, she earned a spot at the U.S. Rowing Training Center, which enabled her to train with and eventually try out for the national team.
After eight years of training, Natalie qualified for the Olympic rowing team. She was granted four weeks of leave from her position as a researcher at the Department of Veterans Affairs to compete and went on to make history in the Games. Natalie and the Women’s Quad brought home bronze medals, making them the first United States team to win a medal in that event in Olympic history.
So what’s next for Natalie? She is planning to retire from the sport after achieving her lifelong goal of winning an Olympic medal. And on her feelings for Penn State, perhaps she sums it up best:
“For me, Penn State is an enormous network of people who share the same story―arriving wide-eyed at East Halls, eating at the Hub, struggling through Accounting 211, walking miles a day over a vast and beautiful campus … It is a collective feeling of community and positivity. It opened my eyes to a world larger than the one from which I came.”