Annie Haeger has grown up on the water at Lake Beulah, so it may not come as a surprise that she's racing in Rio. However, as the only sailor from the Midwest in these games, Annie is proud to be representing Wisconsin.
Whether you know her or not, you know Annie is special. She's a Wisconsin girl going to Rio who always remembers her roots.
“My whole family has been growing up in Lake Beulah in East Troy for generations,” she said. “I'm actually fifth generation on the lake and everyone was a sailor so it's kind of been in my blood so to speak."
Part of the shore on Lake Beulah is even referred to as “The Haeger Shore” because she has aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins who live there.
While Annie may have grown up on the lake, she grew into a champion at Boston College. She was named an All American all four years and college sailor of the year in 2011. She won three national championships and helped BC earn two Fowle Trophies, awarded to the best team in the country.
“We right now, I would say that we're a top four team,” she said. “The top four is all sorts of mixed in with each other. It's the Austrians, the British and the New Zealand girls.”
But Annie said she and her sailing partner Briana Provancha have something no other crew does: teamwork.
“Briana and I were friends first before we became teammates and that bond still stands when you have just an awful day and you want to rip each other's hair out,” she said with a laugh. “You get back there and you have a common bond in something that's bigger than yourselves.”
Sailing has taken Annie and Briana all across the world, from Europe to Asia, but somehow, someway her journey always brings her back to Wisconsin.
“Little old Lake Beulah 800 acres in size,” she said with a smile. “We're putting Wisconsin on the map right now.”