Parent Magazine

20 Questions with the Ruprecht twins (CGS’11, SHA’13)

Juniors Barney and Charlie Ruprecht know a thing or two about being competitive, giving your all, and surviving college pressure. Now the crew-rowing twins open up for Parent on everything from social media to competing and getting inspired.

Photos by Max Esposito

1. What is your favorite thing to do in Boston?

Barney: Get outside before the snow comes.
Charlie: Even though I am a New York sports fan, watching a game at Fenway Park is pretty extraordinary; it’s even better when the Yankees win.

2. What is your favorite book?

Barney: The late Stieg Larsson’s series was great, I just wish he was still here to finish them.
Charlie: My favorite book would have to be Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, but the Larsson trilogy is a close second.

3. What advice would you give to freshman rowers?

Barney: Come in with an open mind and make friends with the varsity rowers. It’s tough at first, before everyone knows how to work together, but the varsity guys know it gets a lot better.
Charlie: Freshmen rowers should enter D1 rowing with an open mind. The difference in maturity level between high school and collegiate athletics is like night and day; new rowers should expect to learn and adapt.

4. Did you participate in the Head of the Charles Regatta?

Barney: Yes, freshman year I placed 3rd in the club 8+, and sophomore year I raced in the championship 8+. The Charles is great; it begins right at our boathouse, so it’s filled with people, the river bank is lined with crowds, and people cheer so loudly when we go under every bridge. Plus, you can hear the announcer echoing all over campus.
Charlie: I have rowed in the Head of the Charles for the last two years. I first rowed in the regatta during my freshmen year at BU, placing 3rd.

Ruprechts in transit

5. Where is your favorite place to row?

Barney: Definitely Lake Cochichewick in North Andover, Massachusetts. It’s the lake on my high school campus and the place where I first learned to row. The best part of being there, besides being right on campus? The lack of traffic. Ever tried to row on the Charles on a Friday afternoon?
Charlie: My favorite place to row would be where we go during our spring training trips, Clemson, South Carolina. The warm weather, the calm wind, the ability to row for miles in one direction, and lack of small boat traffic make it more enjoyable than Boston.

6. What is your favorite date night?

Barney: Dinner at a nice restaurant with an amazing girl.
Charlie: My ideal date would be dinner at one of my favorite restaurants; Craigie On Main, and maybe a movie.

7. What advice would you give to parents of college students?

Barney: Give them a little room for success or failure; they’ll most likely impress you.
Charlie: Parents should allow their kids to have fun and trust them, but make sure that they aren’t too relaxed. Parents need to keep reminding their kids [of] the importance of doing schoolwork and studying.

8. What do you like most about being a twin?

Barney: Well, I don’t know what it’s like not to be a twin.
Charlie: The competitive aspect. I always have someone to compare and compete with. Barney and I are identical, so we do a lot of the same things and have the same interests. Because we are so similar, we always have to be better than each other.

9. What do you like the least (if anything)?

Barney: “Wait, you’re twins?” I hate when people stop and [do a] double take, or really have trouble telling us apart.
Charlie: My least favorite aspect of being a twin is everyone assuming we are the same person. People just assume that we are attached at the hip, when in reality it’s just the opposite.

10. How would your brother describe you?

Barney: As the cooler twin.
Charlie: Barney would describe me as bigger, faster, stronger.

Ruprechts rowing

11. What is your ideal job?

Barney: Something that both makes me happy and constantly changes—I don’t want to sit at the same desk every day.
Charlie: My ideal job would be running and owning a luxury hotel management company.

12. Why do you row?

Barney: I hate to lose and love to win. Nothing is better than winning a big race…and girls like it.
Charlie: I continue rowing because of the competition. I’m one of the most competitive people you will ever meet, and I need to keep on proving myself in an athletic environment. I am fortunate enough to have arguably the best coaching staff in collegiate rowing and to train with some of the best athletes in the sport.

13. What is your favorite movie?

Barney: All the Harry Potters, all the Transformers, and Finding Forester.
Charlie: Up in the Air is my favorite movie. George Clooney’s character reminded me at times of my own travel experiences and headaches.

14. What inspires you?

Barney: The drive to be the best.
Charlie: The fear of not winning or of coming in second place.

15. Who is your role model?

Barney: My Dad. Even though he started at the bottom, he had the talent and motivation to work his way to the top.
Charlie: My role models are the men and women of the U.S. military. I believe everyone should somehow serve their country, and the armed forces give up so much for so little recognition.

Ruprechts work out

16. Who taught you to row?

Barney: My high school coach and teacher Brian Palm taught me during my freshman year of high school, and I’ll attribute any progress since to him—he showed me the right way from the beginning.
Charlie: My high school advisor Mr. Baker taught me how to row during my freshman year at Brooks [School].

17. Do you use social media?

Barney: Only Facebook. My friends make fun of me for having the lamest profile, but I’m not too concerned about what it looks like.
Charlie: The only social media I use is Facebook. I’ve never used or been on Twitter, and never had a Myspace.

18. What is your favorite class? Why?

Barney: Archaeology 101. It’s the most fun you will ever have in a classroom.
Charlie: During my freshman year, I took Psychology 101 and really enjoyed learning about how the mind works. I was fascinated by why people do what they do, and by the chemistry involved.

19. Do you have a favorite professor, and if so, why?

Barney: Professor [Michael] Danti of Archaeology 101 did such a great job, I was going to become an archaeologist, case closed!
Charlie: Professor [Benjamin] Varat in the Social Science department of CGS. He always kept history interesting. Stating what happened was only half the course; it was more important for us to understand why what happened occurred and how we can learn from it.

20. Where is your favorite place to travel?

Barney: The Mediterranean Coast on a boat, preferably one I am not rowing.
Charlie: My favorite place to travel would be Europe. Each country has its own unique culture and food. However, my favorite place in the world would have to be Alaska. Nowhere else in the world has wilderness and wildlife like in the Arctic tundra. There is also a huge rush flying in old bush planes just a few feet off tree tops and cliff faces.

The Ruprechts talk about rowing