Margot G. Wheeler MD ’87 – Crew

polImageAs I reflect on my years at Princeton, I appreciate the central role of athletics in my education. The lessons learned on Lake Carnegie were not solely rowing lessons, but lessons in teamwork, dedication, commitment and the ability to handle both success and failure.

The role of the recruited athlete at Princeton is threatened by those who do not value or understand the benefits of sport in the development of intellectually talented young people. The same dedication that enables a young adult to thrive in vigorous training and competition prepares them for success at Princeton and after. After college I made the National Team attending the World University Games in Yugoslavia as a “spare.” While my competitive streak certainly would have preferred a permanent seat in the boat, I remained enthusiastic, hard working and dedicated to the team, earning the nickname “Spare Extraordinaire.” I went on to medical school at Dartmouth where I was a founder of the “Old Ladies Crew.” The camaraderie, hard work and time management skills that were so much a part of my undergraduate life as a student athlete continued to help me succeed through the rigors of post graduate education, residency, years of every other night and every other weekend call all while maintaining the desire to give back to patients, colleagues, and friends.

The confidence instilled with rowing translates to the confidence to succeed as a physician, the patience to teach, and the joy and satisfaction with life to share with my husband and children. For these reasons, I feel grateful for the opportunity to go to Princeton, to row at Princeton and to give back to Princeton.