Carie Graves

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Carie Graves
Personal information
Full name Carolyn Brand Graves
Born June 27, 1953 (1953-06-27) (age 64)
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
Height 186 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 77 kg (170 lb)

Carolyn Brand Graves, known as Carie Graves (born June 27, 1953), is an American rower who won medals in the 1976 and 1984 Summer Olympics.

Early life[edit]

Carie Graves was born in Madison, Wisconsin to parents Robert and Dyrele (Derry) Graves. Carie grew up in Wyoming Township near Spring Green, Wisconsin, and she attended River Valley High School. Her paternal grandparents had moved to the Spring Green area in the 1930s from South Dakota so that Ben Graves, her grandfather, could take up a position as the land and farm manager at the re-knowned Taliesin. Her father, Robert Graves, had rowed for the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Derry Graves, who came from a circus family in Baraboo, Wisconsin, was a trained registered nurse. In the late 1960s, she worked as a nurse at the Badger Army Ammunition Plant, while Robert farmed.


Her first experience with rowing was as a walk-on when she was a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the fall of 1973. In the spring of 1975 her team won the women's national championships in Princeton, New Jersey. Her first international success came in 1975 when she won a silver medal in the eight-oared shell at the World Championships, as part of what came to be known as the "Red Rose Crew", coached by Harry Parker.

Nike World Games[edit]

In 1998, Graves and her three sisters competed in team rowing at the Nike World Games under the name Team Four Sisters. One of Graves' sisters is Leslie Graves, founder of the Lucy Burns Institute.[1]


She qualified for the 1976 Olympic team in the eight and won an Olympic bronze medal, the first time women's rowing was included in the Olympics.[2] Graves continued to row and train during her tenure as Head Rowing Coach for women at Harvard/Radcliffe, the first female Head Rowing Coach in the US. She was a member of the 1980 Olympic team, rowing in the eight that won the Lucerne International Regatta over East Germany, but was unable to compete due to the boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Russia. She was one of 461 athletes to receive a Congressional Gold Medal many years later.[3] Her last Olympic competition was at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California where she won a Gold Medal on the womans' eight team.

Other competitions[edit]

In 1981 she was the six-oar for the women's eight that finished second at the World Championships in Munich. Also in 1981 she and her teammates raced in a four and won at the Henley Royal Regatta. This was the first time women were allowed to race at Henley.


After earning a Master's from Harvard, Graves went back to coaching in Boston at Northeastern University for 10 years. She then was recruited by the University of Texas, Austin to start their new rowing program in 1998. Graves retired from coaching in 2014.


  1. ^ "Sisters doing it for themselves". Associated Press. August 15, 1998. Archived from the original on July 17, 2007. Retrieved June 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Carie Graves". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 22, 2018. 
  3. ^ Caroccioli, Tom; Caroccioli, Jerry. Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Highland Park, IL: New Chapter Press. pp. 243–253. ISBN 978-0942257403.