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Rowing senior Alex Ridenour got into the sport because his brother and sister were also rowers.

1. Introduce yourself.

My name is Alex, I am from Vancouver Island, Canada and British Columbia. This is my fifth year at Penn and my second year as captain of the heavyweight rowing team. It is my final semester, and I am hoping we can make it a good one despite the circumstances. I have a double major in criminology and German.

2. What has been your favorite part about being captain?

I really like to play a role in my teammates' lives. I feel like I get to know my teammates better. I have to understand what makes my teammates tick a little better: what motivates them and what doesn't. Essentially, the captain's job is not to be the best rower on the team, but to be the guy that makes everyone go faster in any way he can. 

3. What got you into rowing?

Both my brother and my sister were rowers. My brother ended up going to Cornell, and I could not stand him being the big success in the family. So, I followed in his footsteps and we have been very competitive with each other ever since. Sometimes friendly, sometimes not, but it keeps it fun. My brother and I are very close.

4. How would you describe the dynamic of the team in one word?


5. Now, how would you describe yourself in one word?


6. If you were to be granted a superpower, what would you choose?

An oddly specific one, is that there is this guy on my team, Bart Roovers, he graduated before I had the chance to go faster than him on the [ergometer]. So, the one superpower I want is to be able to beat Bart Roovers on the erg.

7. Who is your favorite artist?


8. What does a day in your life look like?

I like to eat a lot of food. I wake up and start the morning off with a ton of food. Then, I am either going to Jiu-Jitsu or the gym, and then I am doing an erg and studying. Probably working out a second time, eating some more, and then I am going to bed. I am a simple man.

9. What is your favorite memory from your time at Penn?

Freshman year, we came in seventh at the [Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship Regatta]—it was kind of the culmination of an incredible year of work. It was a lot of seniors, and to be able to experience their final race with them and to perform the way we did, is a memory I will never forget. We also beat Cornell in the final and that was my brother's team, so it was the most satisfying victory I have ever had.

10. What is something the typical person would not know about you?

I will be honest, I like to be an open book. I do not like to keep secrets from anyone really. If you are really looking to the way to my heart, it is Skittles and Hubba Bubba.

11. Besides rowing, what other sports are you interested in?

Really recently, within the last two years, I got into Jiu-Jitsu. I have been absolutely loving it. Obviously, I would not be much of a Canadian if I did not say hockey.

12. What is something you typically do to relieve stress?

Netflix and working out. Sometimes both, simultaneously.

13. Do you have a specific role model?

In the sport of rowing, Mahé Drysdale, who is a New Zealand Olympian. He just seems like he has an undying will. At the age of 40, he won an Olympic gold in the men's singles. Watching him continue his career into his 40s when most people would quit at late 20s, early 30s, is incredibly inspiring to watch him and how strong he is. As a rower, I would aspire to be exactly like Mahé Drysdale.

14. On a scale of 1-10, how competitive would you say you are?

Absolutely a 10.

15. One thing that is on your bucket list.

In rowing, we exchange betting shirts. So, if you beat a team, you get their shirt. It is a really cool system and it is a ton of fun and a respectful thing teams do at the end of the race. Throughout my entire career, I have never had a Princeton shirt hung up on my wall, so before my career ends I just want to see that Princeton shirt hung up on my wall. I want to go to sleep looking at it every night. My career will be complete and I will be able to hang up the oar a happy man.