Olympic Profiles: Margaret Bertasi and Jillian Zieff, Rowing

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NBC Sports Boston

Olympic Profiles: Margaret Bertasi and Jillian Zieff, Rowing

After winning gold at the 2019 World Rowing Championships, Margaret Bertasi is ready to take on another huge challenge.

Bertasi, who rowed at Princeton University, will team up with Wayland, Mass. native Jillian Zieff as they look to qualify for the women's lightweight double at the 2020 Summer Olympics. 

It'll mark the duo's first time competing together as Bertasi won her gold medal last year with Cara Stawicki.

RELATED: Olympic Profiles: Abbey Cooper (D'Agostino), Track

"Even though Jillian and I row at the same club, we never really got in a boat together before, so this is actually going to be our first race together," Bertasi said.

"You never know what kind of racer someone is until you actually race together. That's the most important thing for us now, is being able to trust that we're going to show up and race the way we trained every day."

That training has been tireless for Bertasi and Zieff, as it's consisted of 15 hours per week of aerobic rowing along with multiple weight-lifting sessions.

Zieff partly credits her hometown for that dedication.

"One thing we like to say around here is Boston rowers are tough because Boston winners are tough," she said.

You can learn more about Bertasi and Zieff in the video above.

Olympic Profiles: Abbey Cooper (D'Agostino), Track

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NBC Sports Boston

Olympic Profiles: Abbey Cooper (D'Agostino), Track

You might remember Abbey Cooper from the Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro back in 2016.

That's when Cooper (then known as Abbey D'Agostino) tore her ACL and meniscus during the women's 5000-meter preliminary, but somehow still persevered to finish the race. Four years later, the Topsfield, Mass. native is ready to make her anticipated comeback.

Since that day in 2016, Cooper has had to overcome numerous challenges as she aimed to return to full strength.

RELATED: Olympic Profiles: Margaret Bertasi and Jillian Zieff, Rowing

"I was able to actually run after five months which again is pretty standard for an ACL repair," Cooper said. "The challenge has come in the wake of that initial running and kind of getting back to form.

"This is a very atypical injury for a distance runner, so I've been kind of a case study in that sense."

As she worked to return to form as a runner, Cooper also went through plenty of changes in her personal life.

Cooper married her husband, Jacob, in 2018. Jacob works for Appalachian State as the staff sports psychologist, and when he got the job, he and Abbey moved to Asheville, NC. There, Abbey started working with her new coach, Chris Layne.

"Of course just with the all the transition in getting married and moving and having to renew that support system, that's been another layer of challenge as well," said Cooper.

You can learn more about Abbey and her road back to the Olympics in the video above.

Celtics well-represented on 2020 U.S. Olympic basketball team finalist list

Celtics well-represented on 2020 U.S. Olympic basketball team finalist list

A quartet of Boston Celtics players represented USA Basketball at the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

We could see as many as five Celtics representatives at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward are among the 44 finalists who could make the 2020 U.S. Men's Olympic Team.

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Here's the full list:

With five players on the list, the Celtics are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most well-represented team. Walker, Smart, Tatum and Brown all made the FIBA World Cup squad, with Walker (13.4 points, 5.0 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game) leading the way for a USA team that finished a disappointing seventh.

Several American NBA stars declined to play in that tournament, though, and the Celtics' contingent should face stiffer competition to make the Olympic roster, which typically includes the best NBA talent. (None of the current Celtics were on the U.S. team that won gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.)

But Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich has spoken glowingly about each C's player on his FIBA World Cup roster -- especially Tatum -- so it's possible Boston could land one or two players on the final 12-man roster.

Team USA will announce its final roster "later this year," according to USA Basketball. Celtics fans also could see two more familiar faces at the 2020 Olympics: Daniel Theis represented Germany at the FIBA World Cup, while Vincent Poirier could suit up for France.

The 2020 Olympics begin on July 24 in Tokyo.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Rockets, which begins Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 9:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.