She became so good at balancing academics and athletics at Brown, it should come as no surprise that Liane Malcos has been able to manage a multitude of jobs while training for the Olympics.
Liane Malcos was an alternate on the 2004 U.S. Olympic women's rowing team, which won silver at Athens. And while Malcos had a wonderful experience, it made her hungrier to earn her own medal.
"It was exciting watching my team win silver and the men win gold," she remembers. "I wish I could have been in the boat with them. Having been there and seeing what they went through, I want to live for myself. There's nothing like it."
Malcos was in on the making of a dynasty. Her Brown team won NCAA championships in 1999 and 2000, becoming the first Ivy team to do so, and went on to additional championships in 2002 and 2004, narrowly missing a threepeat by losing the 2003 title to Harvard by two points. The team's success is "a testament to our coaches," she believes, "who year-after-year managed to unify the team and push it to be a force in college rowing."
The teams were special because of "the camaraderie of our team. We were successful because we knew how to push ourselves and each other," she says. "Independence, self-drive, understanding the context of the group and knowing how to make a contribution were characteristics of my teammates and of Brown students in general."
It was the self-reliant character of Brown students that drew her there. In Carlisle, Mass., Malcos grew up playing sports, but when she started to row at the Groton School it "was different from the start." She knew she found her sport when she "instantly connected with the interplay of personal drive while driving for a team goal."
When Malcos started looking at colleges she was attracted to Brown's open curriculum and strong rowing program. When she visited she "absolutely fell in love with Brown. Rowing was definitely a factor, but I thought the independence of creating my own path through Brown's curriculum would best challenge my mind and myself."
Graduating with a degree in biology in 2000, Malcos moved to Boston and worked in three different areas. She performed research at the prestigious Whitehead Institute at MIT, worked as a patent proofer for a Boston law firm, and volunteered in the emergency radiology department at Massachusetts General Hospital.
She didn't row, but "always knew I would return to rowing in some capacity." Eventually Malcos started training in Massachusetts and in 2003 joined the U.S. national team in Princeton. She performed the multiple occupation feat there as well, working for the Princeton Center for Complex Materials, teaching in a high school program in Trenton and working on its website.
After the Olympics Malcos moved back to Boston and resumed her multiple occupations, working as a rowing coach and as a legal assistant for a life sciences intellectual law firm. It's here she found a vocation, planning to attend law school after the 2008 Olympics. "I have worked in intellectual property. I enjoy it and think I'm good at it," she says.
Returning to Princeton, Malcos is training to row in the eight and in the women's double, hoping to make the Olympics in either event. "It would be so fun to race in the double," she says. "It's more competitive because so many more countries can put together two good rowers than eight."
"It was both challenging and exciting to balance athletics and academics at Brown," says Malcos. "I had to do a dance of scheduling, prioritizing, and time budgeting," but through it all "there wasn't a single day I wasn't happy to be at Brown."
— Suzanne Eschenbach