Everything you need to know about Molly Reckford

Since 2019, Molly Reckford, an Olympian and world champion, has represented the United States on the national rowing team. Molly Reckford’s previous Olympic experience dates back to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020, where she and her partner finished fifth. Paris Olympics 2024 will be her second time competing for the United States. Reckford is an incredibly talented rower.

Molly Reckford Qualifies for U.S. Olympic Team For Paris

The organization USRowing has chosen 13 female athletes to be part of the United States team for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. One of these athletes is Molly Reckford, who used to live in the town of Short Hills.

Molly previously rowed for the Dartmouth University team. Now she trains at the Princeton Women’s Rowing Center. At the Paris Olympics, Molly will compete in the lightweight women’s double sculls event alongside Michelle Sechser.

Molly Reckford and Michelle Sechser finished in 5th place in the same lightweight double sculls event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. They have now been picked again to represent the United States in this event at the upcoming Paris Olympics.

Reckford’s Family, Education, and her Olympian Blood

Molly Rockford was born on October 9, 1992, and grew up in the town of Short Hills, New Jersey. Her parents have lived in the same house her whole life, which is special.

Molly Reckford with her Father and Mother
Image: Molly Reckford with her Father and Mother. (Source: Molly’s Instagram)

Molly has two older brothers or sisters and a pet bird called a cockatiel. Her grandfather, named Bill Spencer, took part in the 1964 and 1968 Winter Olympics competing in the biathlon event. After that, he worked as a coach at five different Olympic Games.

Molly Reckford with her Grandparents
Image: Molly Reckford with her Grandparents (Source: Molly’s Instagram)

Molly says her big dreams and love for sports come from her grandparents. Her competitive spirit comes from her sister and father.

When growing up in the Glenwood area, Molly wanted to be an Olympian ever since learning about the Olympics. She attended the 1996 Olympics at 3 years old, the same year her grandfather Bill Spencer carried the Olympic torch.

Molly Reckford is the youngest of three children, and her older sister was on the rowing team in high school. Molly went to Phillips Exeter Academy, where she first learned how to row a boat. Now at age 30, Molly does not have many chronic injuries that other 30-year-olds often have.

She enjoys activities like cooking, cycling, reading, sculling (rowing with two oars), cross-country skiing, and emerging (coming into view). Between her training times, Molly works at the company Broadridge Financial as part of their program for elite athletes.

Initial Career of Molly Reckford and how She started rowing

When Molly started high school, she knew she wanted to try rowing because that was the sport her older sister did. So she joined the freshman crew team at Phillips Exeter Academy, which was a program to learn how to row for first-year students. Molly absolutely loved rowing.

She really enjoyed it and decided rowing was the sport for her. When Molly finally made the junior varsity team as a sophomore, she was the smallest and youngest member of the team.

During her college years at Dartmouth, her coach Wendy Bordeau encouraged Molly to row the single sculls boat in the summers. When Molly rowed the single, it was at the Nereid Boat Club in Rutherford, New Jersey.

Also See: All About Rower Kaitlin Knifton’s Parents

Rowing the single sculls boat in college helped Molly learn sculling, which is rowing with two oars, instead of the usual one oar used in college sweep rowing races.

Instead, Molly focused on open-weight recruiting. She was often told she was too small and too slow. But she applied to Dartmouth anyway, even though they did not think she was good enough to be recruited there. Molly got accepted on her own and joined the team because she wanted to row, whether Dartmouth originally wanted her or not.

During her Dartmouth rowing career, she rowed in many different boats, mainly the second varsity eight boat. She had some success but became much more successful after graduating.

In 2018, Molly won first place in six events at the USRowing Masters National Championships. It was her first international competition.

The following year in 2019, she finished second in the lightweight double sculls event at the Senior World Championships Trials II. She also finished seventh in the lightweight single sculls at the Spring Speed Order event.

Molly Reckford’s Career after 2020 and Her Road to Paris

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Reckford and her partner Sechser finished fifth in the lightweight women’s double sculls race. But they overcame a slow start and finished strong, winning the silver medal in a time of 6 minutes, 57.92 seconds.

This runner-up finish earned Reckford and Sechser their first medal at a world championship race. It was also the first medal for a U.S. lightweight women’s double sculls crew since 2018.

At Tokyo 2020, they faced three of the four crews that had finished ahead of them. In 2021, Molly won the Ernestine Bayer Award (Woman of the Year) from USRowing along with her partner Michelle Sechser. It is the only award Molly has ever won so far.

Molly is an Olympian from the Tokyo Games where she won silver in the Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls event at the 2022 World Championships. At a competition in Belgrade, Serbia, Reckford and the U.S. women’s quadruple sculls crew of Emily Kallfelz, Grace Joyce and Lauren O’Connor placed 11th.

She also won the Stonor Challenge Trophy for double sculls at the 2022 Henley Royal Regatta. And she won the lightweight double sculls event at the 2022 World Rowing Cup II in the same year. In 2023, Molly finished second in the lightweight double sculls at the World Rowing Cup II event.

The 2024 Paris Olympics will be Reckford’s second time competing in the Olympic lightweight women’s double sculls event. She finished fifth in this event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with her partner Michelle Sechser, who will again team up with Molly in Paris.

The Dartmouth University graduate practices up to five hours per day while eating as many as 4,000 calories to fuel her body during her accurate training sessions in Princeton.