Who is Mary Mazzio-Manson? USA Canoesit Age, Mother, Family, Bio

Mary Mazzio Manson is a well-known Rower who will compete for the United States in the 2024 Paris Olympics. She is a highly skilled athlete and the daughter of two achieved canoeists. She has a number of titles to her name and was picked to represent the United States of America at the National Selection Camp in 2023 due to her achievements.

Mary selected for Team USA, will head to Paris this summer

Mary “Daisy” Mazzio-Manson and Kaitlin Knifton, both former students at the University of Texas, have been chosen to be part of the United States rowing team that will compete in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France this upcoming summer.

They will be the second and third rowers from the University of Texas to make the Olympic team, following Gia Doonan who rowed for Texas from 2013 to 2017. This announcement was made by the USRowing organization on Monday. Mazzio-Manson and Knifton are two of the thirteen athletes selected to row in the women’s eight-person boat and the women’s four-person boat events at the Paris Olympics.

Mary Mazzio-Manson Family, Parents, Siblings, and Early Life

Mary “Daisy” Mazzio-Manson was raised in a household where rowing was a way of life. Her mother, Mary Mazzio, competed in rowing at Mount Holyoke College and later represented the United States at the 1992 Olympic Games.

Mary’s father, Jay Manson, rowed for Trinity College and won a bronze medal at the 1991 World Rowing Championships. Her older brother, Jamie, also rowed while attending Wesleyan University.

Mary Mazzio-Manson Mother Mary Mazzio
Image: Mary Mazzio-Manson’s mother Mary Mazzio, center, in her Olympics days (Source: MSNBC)

From a young age, Mazzio-Manson remembers attending the Head of the Charles Regatta every year, which is considered the most famous rowing event in the United States.

Both of her parents passed down their love and passion for the sport of rowing. Mazzio-Manson is grateful to them for introducing her to this amazing activity and supporting her as she follows rowing at the highest levels. Outside of rowing, she enjoys participating in book clubs, playing pond hockey, walking dogs, and creating music playlists on Spotify.

When and where did Mary Mazzio-Manson start her Rowing Career?

Mary Mazzio-Manson was surrounded by rowing from birth. She grew up in a home decorated with rowing art on the walls, trophies in the living room, and even an oar mounted above the mailbox. Her favorite sport was initially hockey, where she played on boys’ teams and was usually the tallest player on the ice.

However, in her first year of high school at Newton Country Day School, a friend suggested they try rowing. Although Mazzio-Manson had previously sworn off the sport at age 8, she agreed.

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Having already suffered two concussions in hockey, rowing seemed a safer option for her head. Her natural rowing abilities quickly emerged.

More importantly, she loved the competition of racing head-to-head, and bow-to-bow against other boats, and discovered the advantages of facing backward. They rowed on the Charles River, observing elite crews and feeling the excitement of the prestigious Head Of The Charles Regatta. Mazzio-Manson began rowing competitively at age 15.

Mary Mazzio-Manson Rowing career in her College life

For college, Mazzio-Manson selected Yale University, a school she felt connected to since birth because her mother had made a documentary film about an important moment for women’s sports at Yale, dedicating it to Mazzio-Manson.

What truly influenced her decision was the supportive rowing community she was raised in, where members encouraged one another. As a first-year rower at Yale, Mazzio-Manson received the Chris Ernst Award for excellence.

In her second year, she stroked Yale’s women’s eight boat to third place in the petite final at the 2018 NCAA Championships, followed by second place in the petite final the next year. A standout race was the 2018 Henley Royal Regatta, considered the Wimbledon of rowing competitions. Despite trailing by 500 meters, Yale made a comeback to defeat a Dutch boat in that heat race.

Mazzio-Manson was named to the First-Team All-Ivy in 2018 and 2019. After four years at Yale, she transferred to the University of Texas for graduate school, with only one year to make an impact on the Texas team. What impressed Coach Dave O’Neill was Mazzio-Manson’s desire to be part of a program with a chance to win an NCAA championship. Her senior year was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so on her coach’s recommendation, she used her final year of NCAA eligibility to pursue a graduate degree.

After obtaining her master’s degree in marketing from the University of Texas, Mazzio-Manson knew she wanted to continue rowing. She was not ready to step away from the sport and community she loved, realizing she had not yet reached her full potential.

Mary becoming a national Athlete and representing the USA

Before the pandemic in 2019, Mazzio-Manson was part of the women’s eight boats that won a bronze medal at the U23 World Championships. Mazzio-Manson was named Academic All-Ivy in 2019 and 2020, as well as being on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in 2020.

In 2019, she earned CRCA First-Team All-America honors and was a CRCA Academic All-American in 2020. When returning for her fifth year, the rower from Austin suffered a severe back injury that required surgery in fall 2022. After the operation, she worked hard to recover and return to rowing sooner than expected.

In 2022, Mazzio-Manson joined the Craftsbury Green Racing Project’s rowing program in Vermont, training in a pair boat with Emily Froehlich, who also made the 2023 World Championships women’s eight-boat.

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The months spent in the pair boat helped Mazzio-Manson improve her technique. At the national selection camp in Princeton this summer, she and Froehlich were named to the women’s eight boats. The main objective at the World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia is to finish in the top five in the women’s eight final, which would qualify the U.S. women’s eight for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

They also aim to make the podium and potentially start another winning streak, as the U.S. women’s eight went undefeated at the Olympics and World Championships for 11 years from 2006-2016. In the national selection, Mazzio-Manson placed third and qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Kaitlin Knifton, who graduated from Texas in 2023 after five years on the rowing team, is the second youngest woman on the current Olympic team.