"It was as though we were all training for the Olympic opportunity."
--Rebecca Veninsky, Grant Recipient
Rebecca Veninsky, Maeve Berry, Julia Williamson, Bailey Doran, Abby Mellinger
As student athletes at Ithaca College, we see the importance of having a well-rounded education. Through the process of working on this project with our teammates, we have discovered connections between all aspects of our college experiences, extracurricular and academic.
This passion project took seed after we found out that one of the women’s varsity crew team captains, Emily Morley, would compete in a few months for the chance of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games. Our initial intention was to document the highs and lows of Morley’s winter training experience as an individual and a part of the team. As the season progressed we witnessed how our entire team strengthened alongside Emily. It was as though we were all training for the Olympic opportunity.
The film “2000 Meters Out” is a story of grit, resilience and the power of women supporting other women.
One day when walking through the Park School, serendipity led us to a flyer for the Women in Media Day Film Challenge to create a short film and meet professional women in the industry. As we pieced it together, we knew there was more story to tell than what fit into the seven-minute short. This gave us the inspiration to keep working and improving the film. With the help of the Dr. John Keshishoglou International Travel Grant we were able to send Julia Williamson with Morley to the Qualification Regatta in Chile where she faced tough competition and missed automatic qualification by a few places. Two weeks later, Emily received news that she was granted a bid to the Olympics. Emily was making history for women, rowing and the Bahamas. We continued to document Emily’s journey following her spring season with the team and her summer training up to the Olympics. With more help from the Keshishoglou Center, four of our producers traveled to the Bahamas to document the post-Olympics and post-graduation life of Emily and her family, as well as other up and coming Bahamian rowers.
Emily’s story is about more than rowing, the supportive Ithaca Crew Team or the Bahamas; it is about how far passion and hard work can take you. It is not about winning gold at the Olympics, but about making history for women. It is about setting your mind to something and achieving greatness by proving to yourself and the world around you that you belong in the position that you worked hard for.
It has been an incredible experience for us to work with teammates on and off the water, creating and producing a film project about one of our own making it to the biggest stage in athletics.
To learn more about the documentary, please visit our website and follow us on Instagram (@2000metersout) and twitter (@2000moutdoc) and like us on Facebook.