Devery Karz and family ready for Rio
Devery Karz is laser-focused heading into her first Olympic Games.
The Park City High School graduate qualified for the lightweight doubles scull competition and wants to ensure she does everything she can to leave Rio with a medal.
According to her father, Rob, that means forgoing the Opening Ceremonies on Friday night.
“She would love to walk in the Opening Ceremonies, but she races less than 36 hours later and she doesn’t want to break her routine,” he said. “She wants to be in top form when the competition starts. That takes a huge amount of commitment, in my opinion.”
Rob and his wife, Linda Karz, are in Brazil along with other family members to support Devery at her first Olympics. Linda said she’s anxious to see Devery compete, but added that watching her daughter in Rio will be less stressful than qualifying races earlier this year.
“It’s obviously going to be very exciting,” she said. “For me, though, it’s not quite as nerve-wracking as the Olympic Trials. That was all or nothing, but now she’s made it to the Olympics.”
However, Linda added, Devery has a tough road ahead if she and teammate Kate Bertko want to land on the podium.
“Her boat class is very competitive,” Linda said. “There are probably seven or eight boats that can win the gold.”
Contact with Devery has been very limited, Rob said, but he and Linda did get a chance to speak with their daughter before the competitions began.
“She liked the Olympic Village and has gotten out on the water,” Rob said. “We did a FaceTime the other day with her, but she will probably be incommunicado from now through the end of the competition, pretty much. She seems to be all business. She’s ready to go, I think.”
Rob and Linda are ready to go, too. Rob said he’s excited to see Devery’s hard work and determination pay off at the highest level.
“I’m just so proud of everything she’s done so far,” he said. “I’m proud of her focus and her commitment. She has been dedicated to doing all the right things.”
“We’re incredibly proud of her and can’t wait to watch her compete,” Linda added.
It’s no secret that the lead-up to the 2016 Olympics has been a disaster. Just about everything that could go wrong for Rio did go wrong.
However, Rob Karz said the atmosphere within the immediate Olympic area has been pleasant so far.
“There’s a lot of security down here,” he said. “I feel very safe. They’ve got the army, the police — a lot of security people everywhere. I imagine it’s probably safer here now than if you came here outside of the Olympics, though.”
Devery and her rowing teammates will compete in sewage- and disease-filled waterways, but Rob said he’s seen officials working hard to make the venue as clean as possible.
“As far as pollution and water quality, walking down the beach, the beach is extremely clean and they have people cleaning the beach,” he said. “There are people in the water and there are boaters and swimmers. They’re very concerned with their image and they want to put a good show on.”
Watch Devery in Action
Devery’s first heat is scheduled for 5:30 a.m. MT on Sunday morning. The live-stream feed can be found at http://www.nbcolympics.com.
Karz will continue competition on Monday, Aug. 8, with a repechage at 5:30 a.m.
The lightweight double sculls semifinals are scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 9, both at 5:30 a.m.
Should Bertko and Karz advance to the finals, the competition will conclude on Friday, Aug. 12, at 5:30 a.m.
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