"It's hard to know what she's capable of," says Marden. Although she should make the Olympic team, whether she will seriously contend for a medal in single sculling is another matter. Most women medalists have weighed at least 30 pounds more than Karlson. "Many lightweights have tried," says Marden, "but they don't do well."
Karlson will add muscle, bulking up to perhaps 138 pounds. She thinks she can earn a medal in a double scull, or perhaps a quad. Even if she doesn't do well in the Olympics, she won't regret having made the trip. It's not hard to imagine one of Karlson's patients 10 years from now saying, "Hey, I heard you used to be some kind of rower. Were you ever in the Olympics?"
Dr. Karlson would like to answer simply, "Yes."