Grace Luczak qualified for the Rio Games in the women’s pair with teammate Felice Mueller. Get to know the fun and bubbly eight-time U.S. Rowing national team member in this Q & A.
What is your first unique childhood memory?
My first, I guess foray into sporting was actually a diaper crawling competition. My mom entered me into this competition and I think I was pretty motivated – even at a young age. Maybe a little competitive and ended up coming out with the win and a year’s worth of the Procter & Gamble diapers, so it was a win.
What is your perfect day off?
My perfect day off would be with my family and friends. It’s amazing with this Olympic experience how much support you get and being able to spend time with them would be amazing. I’m really looking forward to that after Rio. Hopefully my perfect day would be when we are done with the Games and we have something to celebrate.
What is your favorite movie and why?
Finding Nemo, I love Finding Nemo. It’s also about family. It’s really cute, full of humor and I love up-beat, positive, fun movies. I love Finding Nemo, I’m really excited about the [Finding] Dory one coming out.
Do you have any hobbies?
I do. I’m from the state of Michigan in the Midwest. When I was growing up, my uncles used to take me out to the fields to go goose and bird hunting, my main draw was going out there to get Krispy Kreme doughnuts because I was promised those at five in the morning. So I’d sit out in the fields and help retrieve, so that was kind of fun. [Laughs]
Talk to me about your nickname.
My nickname on the team is sparkles and I’ve been told that’s because I’m always wearing red, white and blue and sparkly things, trying to bring some fun to our team and keep things positive. So, sparkles. [Laughs]
Who is the biggest influence in your life?
The biggest influence in my life is definitely my parents. I’m so lucky to be able to have my mom and my dad be there to support me through all of this when I was growing up. I love you mom and dad and thank you!
What’s something people may not know about you?
I love Kermit the frog and it shows with my daily transport to and from practice – my Ford Fiesta – in lime green with personalized plates from Michigan that say ‘KERM1T’. And Kermit is usually decorated for different holidays. For Christmas, Easter, Halloween and my favorite the Fourth of July, red, white and blue all summer. Kermit is just great. He makes everyone smile, I have my own twitter for Kermit the car, @KermitCarUSA – where I take pictures of my car for different holidays. It’s just for fun and I love it. [Laughs]