Gia Doonan grew up in Fairhaven. She attended the Rogers School and went to Fairhaven High School before transferring to Tabor Academy. It was at Tabor that Doonan was exposed to a sport that would change her life. She joined the crew team and was good enough to land a spot on a D1 collegiate program, rowing for the University of Texas. After she graduated, Doonan says she was invited to compete on the Under 23 national team.

Gia Doonan Joined Michael and Maddie from Her Olympic Village Balcony

"We won two gold medals in the world championships, so I was like wait a minute, if I'm winning gold in both events at the U23s, then the next step is the Olympic team, so maybe I could have a shot at that," she recalled. She was right. She was named to the 2021 Olympic team last month.

When Doonan spoke to Michael and Maddie this morning, she was on the balcony of her room at the Olympic Village in Tokyo. Team USA's crew team was among the very first teams to arrive at the Olympic Village, so she said the scene was pretty quiet. The only other team she had seen was Team USA Softball. She said the crew team was pretty tired after all of the traveling they've done over the past few weeks.

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What is the Olympic Village Like?

Doonan said it reminds her a lot of freshman year in college, moving into dorms with room mates. "The village is organized by country," she said. "All of the athletes from each country are grouped together. We have our own building and it is just USA athletes. Flags hang from every USA balcony (pictured below). The United States is positioned right next to Australia, Japan and New Zealand in the Olympic Village. The sleeping quarters for the athletes are arranged like quads with four rooms, a common area and two bathrooms."

Courtesy of GIa Doonan

How is the Food at the Olympic Village?

Doonan said the dining hall is incredible. It's the only place in the Olympic Village where there is a communal area with other countries. It is open 24 hours a day and offers anything you can dream of. The best news is that Doonan doesn't have to worry about eating healthy.

"Rowing is such a physical sport. We burn so many calories every day that the struggle is to not lose too much weight. You want to keep on the weight and keep on the power," she said. "It's not unusual for us to spend three or four hours a day on a rowing machine, so we can pretty much eat whatever we want."

Olympic-Sized Perks

Doonan said there is a hair salon and a nail salon and bunch of other services. "You can go when ever and it is all free," she said. "Before dinner last night each member of the crew team received two huge suitcases. One was fully packed with Ralph Lauren clothes and the other was packed with Nike."

Courtesy of Gia Doonan

The Workout Facility

Doonan sent a photo of their workout area. There is an underground tunnel that connects all of the buildings, she said.

Courtesy of Gia Doonan

We will be updating Doonan's Olympic adventure throughout the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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