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Aug. 30, 2021

Spartan Athletics mourns the passing of Olivia Long

Michigan State mourns the passing of rowing team captain Olivia Long. A native of Lake Orion, Mich., Long passed away on Aug. 27. She was 20-years old. 

“We have lost a young, promising life way too early,” said Michigan State rowing head coach Kim Chavers. “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,” said Michigan State athletic director Bill Beekman. “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 enrolled at Michigan State for the 2019-20 academic year, and despite having her freshman season canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ascended into a spot in MSU's varsity eight boat for her sophomore season. She earned Academic All-Big Ten honors a year ago and was voted captain of the team for her junior season. 

Long came to Michigan State's rowing program after a volleyball prep career at Lake Orion High School and Michigan Elite Volleyball Academy. She helped her team to a MHSAA Division I state championship as a senior, earning All-Conference Honors. She was on the watch lists for 2018 Under Armour High School All-America and 2017 Ultra Ankle JVA honors, and was also on the AVCA Phenom list. 

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