ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Victoria Greeder

Grieder recently became world champion alongside her Women’s 8 boat rowers at the 2023 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Victoria Grieder
Victoria Grieder
Photo by Andrea Mujica
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Former Orlando Area Rowing Society coxswain Victoria Grieder recently became world champion alongside her Women’s 8 boat rowers at the 2023 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She is studying public health with a concentration in health care administration at Rutgers University — New Brunswick. 

Tell us about your years as a coxswain. 
I actually did a couple of sports before rowing, and I started coxing when I was in sixth grade — so going on nine years now.

Why rowing? 
I actually used to play softball across the street from the OARS boathouse, and we had a couple of friends who were involved with OARS. I was looking for an opportunity to co-train, so I originally joined crew to co-train for softball. I ended up falling in love with the community and the sport, and I’ve been loving it ever since. 

Tell us about competing in Plovdiv. 
We had a week … to adjust to the time zone and the course we were going to be racing on. … Then we raced in a heat, and we had to get first in the heat to go straight to the final. We ended up first in the heat by two seconds. We went straight to the final that Sunday and ended up winning. We went against countries (such as) Germany, Great Britain, Italy (and) Canada, so it was super exciting. 

How did it feel to compete against countries and not teams? 
It was so cool even when we would break it down as a team, to say USA. It just made it so real. Our uniforms, we had red, white and blue, and before you start a rowing race, they pull out the crews and they (call them out), and when they said United States of America, (I thought), ’I’m representing the United States right now; it’s so unreal.’” 

Describe to us the moment you won. 
It’s kind of hard to put into words. We crossed the line with open water, so that was already pretty exciting, and I’m not sure if there were too many thoughts going through my head. I kind of splashed the water, and I was hugging my stroke seat. It’s such an unreal feeling, I can’t even put it into words. We immediately went to the podium. Being there (and) hearing the national anthem … was incredible. 

What do you love most about rowing as a sport? 
I feel like I touch a lot on the people; they are so incredible. There are so many of my closest friends that I lean on that I wouldn’t know without rowing. I’ve made so many friends and memories around the world — which is insane to even think about. I love being on the water and enjoy working really hard for a goal and just the different challenges that the sport puts me through. 

What do you believe rowing has taught you on and off the boat? 
(To) bring a lot of passion and be all in on a daily basis. 

How do you believe you instill leadership in your team? 
In my role as a coxswain, I’m kind of the one voice, and there are eight or four women in the boat. I try to create a little bit of culture within the boat, so I can bring them together as quick as possible.

What is your favorite hobby? 
I love being around water … just love being outside. 

What are three things you would take to a deserted island? 
Chocolate, my dogs — Brownie and Coco — and a blanket. 

What is your favorite type of music?
Anything from slow rock to pop to jazz. I’ve got all the genres depending on what mood I’m in. 

Who is your favorite Disney character? Why? 
I’d say Belle. A funny story is, when I was about 4 years old, I would religiously watch it every day. 

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? 
The ability to freeze time. Sometimes, I just need 20 more minutes to chill or sleep. 

What are three places you would like to visit? 
I’ve always wanted to go to France, and a little bit around Europe, and also Australia and New Zealand. 

If you could go back in time to a specific period of history, which one would it be and why? 
I’d go way back — when Pangea was still here. I’d like to see how life was like without technology and that kind of stuff. 

What color would you say represents your personality? Why?
I would say purple. Sometimes, I can come across as soft and loving and also always there. Everyone loves purple. 

If you could be an animal for a day, which one would you be and why? 
Definitely a bird, because I’ve always wanted to fly. 



Andrea Mujica

Staff writer Andrea Mujica covers sports, news and features. She holds both a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Central Florida. When she’s not on the sidelines, you can find Andrea coaching rowers at the Orlando Area Rowing Society in Windermere.

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