Gevvie Stone Is an Olympian, a Head of the Charles Champ—and a Doctor

The Newton native talks balance, training, and 15-minute workouts.

Courtesy of the Head of the Charles Regatta

Photo courtesy of Head of the Charles Regatta

Two months ago, Massachusetts native Gevvie Stone was in Rio de Janeiro, winning a silver medal in women’s single sculls. On Saturday, she’ll be on the Charles River, competing for her seventh championship title at the 52nd Head of the Charles Regatta.

Stone, who was born in Newton and now lives in Cambridge, grew up on the Charles. She’s competed in the Head of the Charles (HOCR) 13 times, winning in nearly half of those appearances.

“It’s a huge part of me,” Stone says. “To be able to race and to have this giant race on my home river is a privilege.”

Stone’s bio is impressive on its own. But it’s practically superhuman given that she’s done all of her recent training while applying for medical residency programs and coaching Harvard University’s Radcliffe crew.

Stone is no stranger to multitasking: The 31-year-old trained while in medical school, making the 2012 London Olympic team despite her busy schedule, and eventually finishing seventh. Two years later, Stone graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine. Two years after that, she made the U.S. team again for the Rio Olympics, this time finishing second.

“I think that the type of personality that’s drawn to one [career] is somewhat drawn to the other, because both require perseverance and dedication,” Stone says of medicine and rowing.

While some younger athletes may feel pressured to choose between pursuing a higher education and competing at an international level, Stone believes it doesn’t always have to be one or the other. “As long as you’re enjoying both, there’s no reason to set fences for yourself,” she says. “If you’re able to commit yourself 100 percent to both, then the sky’s the limit.”

Courtesy of the Head of the Charles Regatta

Photo courtesy of Head of the Charles Regatta

In addition to intense dedication, Stone says balance has been integral in maintaining her double life.

“I think in college I played them off one another. When I was frustrated with one I could use it to my advantage in the other, and vice versa,” Stone recalls. “It’s helpful, when rowing, to have a distraction. To just sit down with a medical textbook was a good distraction.”

It worked the other way, too. “In a hospital, there’s a lot you can’t control in terms of your patients and their health. Sometimes things are outside your grasp,” Stone says. “The single [scull] is something that’s very controllable. What I put into it is what I get out of it. It’s great for me to have an outlet in my life where I can be in that little bubble and things are within my control.”

There were instances, however, when Stone’s passions inevitably clashed.

“I struggled a bit during my third-year rotations in med school to get in a full workout every day,” Stone says. Her solution? Devoting just 15 minutes per day to fitness when necessary, squeezing in planks, lunges, wall sits, and core work when she found a sliver of time.

“Something is better than nothing,” Stone says. “It doesn’t have to be a lot in order for you to get a benefit from it.”

Catch Stone race on Saturday, October 21, at 4:06 p.m. You can see the full HOCR schedule here.