October 3, 2018

Where Are They Now: Emily Walsh


Emily Walsh rowed for Ohio State from 2008 to 2012. In that time, she garnered Second Team All-American and CRCA First-Team All-Central Region recognition and also earned a First Team All-Big Ten award. Besides her accomplishments on the water, Walsh excelled in the classroom. She was a Ohio State Scholar Athlete as well as an Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

After graduating from Ohio State with a degree in Political Science and Public Health, Walsh continued her studies in medical school. She is currently attending Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pa.

Learn more about her experience with Ohio State rowing and how it helped her get to where she is today!

What made you want to pursue your current field?

Medicine is the composite of everything that fulfills me: problem-solving, science, teamwork, human connection, and service. It has been intensely challenging but I can’t see myself doing anything else.

How has rowing helped you become successful in your professional and academic career?

Rowing has taught me a lot about trust and patience. It allowed me to develop a faith in the progression from self-doubt to confidence. On any career path, especially one that requires a decade or more of training, those qualities are fundamental.

How did you balance being a member of the rowing team and being enrolled in such a challenging academic course load?

Striking the perfect student-athlete balance required a lot of compartmentalizing and time-management. There were so many academic resources for athletes at Ohio State that made that balancing act much more attainable. Personally, my path to medicine was less direct than many of my teammates’.  My degree was in Political Science and Public Health, with most of my science classes completed after my post-college rowing career.

What made you want to join the Ohio State rowing team?

A friend of mine was on our high school’s rowing team and I always really admired her passion for the sport. I also grew up listening to stories about my dad’s time on the soccer team at Ohio State which compelled me to seek the same kind of challenge and camaraderie once I got to Ohio State. When the novice coach approached me on the Oval during the involvement fair freshman year, that was the last piece of the puzzle!

What is your favorite memory of your career as a Buckeye?

The memories of training together every day are so special to me. Early morning carpools to the boathouse, the very particular sense of humor that rowing/physical exhaustion breeds, really hard practices, getting faster, singing Carmen Ohio on the bus rides back from races. The little things are pure gold.

If you could give a piece of advice to Ohio State rowers and/or students, what would it be?

Let the experience change you. It will be exhausting, exciting, painful, totally joyful and every other emotion on the spectrum. You’ll feel them all and be a better person for it.

What do you think sets Ohio State rowing apart from other programs?

Excellence at Ohio State is the product of internal forces. An environment is created that brings out the best in people. Athletes from all backgrounds are gathered in the most impressive facilities with an abundance of resources and experience and given the opportunity to be great. It’s an empowering choice.

What has been your greatest accomplishment as a rower?

Representing the United States in the Women’s  8+ at the U-23 World Championships was an indescribable honor, and training with the national team after college was an opportunity I never expected to have. But to aim that high would have never occurred to me if it hadn’t been for my teammates and coaches at Ohio State. Being a part of that legacy has been my greatest accomplishment and the gift of a lifetime.