In today's Olympic Q&A, we head to the water to talk to NBC's rowing analyst for the London Games, Yasmin Farooq. Yaz competed in the Olympics in 1992 and 1996 and now coaches the Stanford women's rowing program, who she led to a national championship in 2009. She takes us inside what a typical day is like for an Olympic commentator, the experience in London, and what the casual Olympic fan needs to know about rowing at the Games.
Q: You competed at the Games in 1992 & 1996, how does your experience as an athlete help you as an analyst?
A: I still remember what it felt like to sit in the starting blocks at the Olympics, that sense of anticipation, excitement to race, and of course, a few butterflies. I’ll admit, my heart rate still goes up right before the start of each of the races, especially the women’s eight, which was my event. Being live at the Olympics as an analyst (we sit right above the finish line in the media grandstand) literally inserts all of us right back into that electric atmosphere, and I try to convey that to the viewer. I know what those rowers are going through, both from a training and racing standpoint, as well as the Olympic experience. I also coach at Stanford University now, so I’m in touch with sport on a daily basis.