Naples native Meghan Musnicki’s family on rower’s third Olympics

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — To us, Meghan Musnicki is a two-time Olympic gold medalist rower, but to Gail Musnicki and Thomas Missig, she is simply a daughter and a cousin.

A couple of members of the close-knit family shared some tender moments with News10NBC’s Jenny Ly and what it is like to have an Olympian on the world stage.

“As cousins, we’re obviously blood relatives, but we have been most of our entire lives kind of like brother and sister when we’re around each other,” said Thomas Missing, whose mother, Lisa George, is sisters with Meghan’s mother, Gail Musnicki.

All eyes will soon be focused on the women’s eight rowing event tomorrow night, as the United States team moves on to the medal race in Tokyo. Naples native Meghan Musnicki is no stranger to the Olympics. Having won gold in 2012 and 2016, the rower is back for more.

Reflecting on childhood memories, Missig says his cousin always had athletic prowess.

“To say as a youth that I’d imagine her as a two-time Olympian gold medalist and an eight-time world champion, I wouldn’t have foreseen that in rowing in particular because she played basketball and soccer and all the local sports rowing didn’t even happen until college,” Missig said.

With the world’s biggest sports competition thousands of miles away, Musnicki’s mom, who was able to attend her prior Olympic performances in person, says this pandemic-ridden year certainly changes this Olympic season from a fan perspective.

“It’s sad that I can’t go. I’ll just have to cheer her on from home here, but so be it – that’s the way it is this year,” Musnicki said.

Although 13 hours and oceans apart, technology is keeping the family connected to the Olympian even when they cannot be in Tokyo to support her.

“I got a text from her at 3 o’clock in the morning last night which was in the afternoon for her. Her first reaction was, ‘Mother, what are you doing awake at 3 o’clock in the morning?!’”

You can catch Musnicki’s rowing race Thursday night on CNBC at 9:05 p.m. EDT or stream it here. In that race, the U.S. women’s rowing team will compete against Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Romania and China.