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Olympics

How Did We Get Four Olympians?

Team USA was projected to qualify just one athlete for the Olympics, but instead maxed out, quadrupling expectations. The team manager had a lot to do with it.

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Meg Coyne’s official title is National Teams Manager for USA Climbing, but she also described her job as “mother hen,” which is another way of saying a little bit of everything. Because USA Climbing has a lot of different teams across its programs—Lead, Speed, Boulder, Adult, Youth, Para, Collegiate—Coyne travels a lot.

“So my job is to be mother hen for everybody,” Coyne said. “Part travel agent, part therapist. Keeping everyone in line and getting them where they are going.” We can add “part coach” to her resume.

Coyne, 30, has a quiet but calculated presence. She’s a listener, and chooses her words carefully. Like many of those in the inner orbit of Team USA’s competitive program, Coyne herself is a former competitor, routesetter and has been in the game for a while. She competed in Youth World Championships, for example, and is a former team coach for the Stone Summit Team, out of Atlanta. Meg got into coaching by accident, she told me, but quickly fell in love with it. In 2018, she joined USAC and in time was tasked with developing a high-performance program.

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