PORTLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The captain of the Michigan State University rowing team died Friday due to injuries from a crash.
Olivia Long, 20, of Lake Orion, was involved in a crash Thursday (Aug. 26) in Portland Township, Michigan, according to officials. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died Friday, police said.
The university released the following on Monday afternoon:
“We have lost a young, promising life way too early,” Michigan State Rowing Head Coach Kim Chavers said. “Olivia was an excellent teammate who was invested in those around her and our program. As a captain, she connected with a lot of different people, and on a team as large as ours, team building is especially important. Our rowing family will miss her tremendously and will find a way to honor her legacy as we lean on one another to process our loss. We send our love and prayers to her family and all who loved her, as this loss is hard to comprehend.”
“Our prayers go out to Olivia Long’s family and friends,” Michigan State Athletic Director Bill Beekman said. “Olivia loved being a Spartan, and as a leader developed incredible connections with so many of her teammates. To lose her so soon seems especially cruel. We will provide support and resources to assist members of the rowing program and athletic department staff as they grieve.”
Long’s freshman season was canceled by the COVID pandemic, but she earned a spot in the university’s eight boat her sophomore year. She earned academic All-Big Ten honors and was voted team captain as a junior.
She played volleyball at Lake Orion High School and at the Michigan Elite Volleyball Academy, helping her team to an MHSAA Division I state championship as a senior and earning All-Conference honors.