Community gathers to watch former MSU rower compete in Rio

Posted at 12:03 PM, Aug 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-14 12:03:40-04

Tons of people came to MSU's campus Saturday morning to cheer for former Spartan Emily Regan. 

"I felt absolutely so proud," says Lori Stewart, a former MSU rower who came back to Lansing for the viewing party.

Stewart met Regan at an alumni event and knew she had to watch her compete for the gold medal on Saturday morning in the company of her Spartan community.

"It felt like family and we were cheering for our sister," Stewart exclaims.

Nearly 100 people were at the the viewing party, and MSU rowing coach Matt Weise was ecstatic. 

"It was so fun to have everybody here," Weise says, "it's a great event to support Emily, more fun to have a big group cheering along and I'm so glad that everybody turned out this morning."

Fans and friends alike wanted to celebrate their Spartan alum as she competed for the gold.

"Seeing someone from Michigan State on the Olympic team is amazing," says Ellie Weise, who has followed Michigan State rowing for a long time.

Along with former teammates and other rowing alumni, rowing fans from all across the area came to the viewing party. And as Regan raced for the gold, the crowd watched with excitement, especially her old coach.

"I woke up this morning, I was like oh this is kind of fun, but as she was racing, my hear's racing, my blood pressure is going... it was fantastic. I couldn't be more excited," laughs coach Weise.

Afterwards, coach Weise asked supporters to sign the Olympic flag with gold markers to congratulate Regan. Weise will send the flag to her to celebrate her victory. 

Regan and the US women's eight team did win the gold medal. That marks their third straight Olympics taking home the gold.