He rowed for four years at the University of California, Berkeley. His freshman boat in 1999, coached by Craig Amerkhanian finished second at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association championship, which serves as the national championship race for men's collegiate rowing in the USA. In 2000, 2001, and 2002, he was in the varsity eight man boat, which won the IRA championship each year. In 2000 and 2001, his boats were undefeated and are considered by many as the fastest collegiate boats ever.
Let's learn more about another Calympian! More after the jump, GO BEARS!
Here's a look at my Olympic experiences, what I've learned, and how I'll apply those lessons in London.
For my first Olympics, I was in the Canadian men's eight boat and we went in as the clear favourites to win. We were supposed to essentially show up and pick up our gold medals. We went in with impressive race results from the previous two years and a solid, confident mindset. But what we didn't have was a single athlete in the boat who had been to the Olympics before. We finished fifth.
As much as you try to treat it like any other race, the Olympics is simply different. I think the pressure, and the experience as a whole, was slightly overwhelming for such a young group. I can only speak for myself, but I remember being a bit awestruck. Having some veteran experience to guide us through the week of racing might have made a difference.
After a few frustrating years things were back on track in the lead up tothe Beijing Olympics. Training was going well both personally and as agroup. Then in late February I herniated my L5-S1 disc and was out for 6 weeks. I gradually worked back onto the water and was selected to race in the Men's Pair with Dave Calder with the energetic Terry Paul as our coach. The three of us clicked very quickly and charged onto the scene atthe Lucerne World Cup; winning, and in the process beating Australia and New Zealand who hadn't been touched in 3 years. After a shaky start to Beijing we recovered to have a solid race in the semi and set ourselves up for what was to be a duel against the Australians in the final. We had our best race, going stroke-for-stroke all the way down the course with two legends in the sport of rowing, and won the Silver Medal.
Since Beijing I have taken a few years away from rowing to heal my back and to start a career with RBC. For an athletic/competitive outlet I have trained for and raced in Ironman Canada twice and reconnected with my childhood sport of hockey. I began training seriously again in September after racing at the Canadian National Championships and moved back to Victoria to train full time with the team in January 2011. Over the course of the spring, I gradually got back up to speed and in June, Dave and I raced together for the first time in almost 3 years at the Lucerne World Cup. We were pleased with the result - grabbing the bronze medal and inserting ourselves into the top group of pairs with New Zealand and Great Britain.
Then, in late August, we raced at the World Champs which also served as the Olympic qualification regatta for the London Games next summer. Qualifying the year before the games is huge and allows you to focus solely on the Olympics rather than a ‘last chance' qualification regatta 2 months prior to the Olympics. We progressed well through the heat and semi final but had a disappointing race in the final - finishing 5th. The positives are that we qualified and with an ‘off' race, we were 5th. After a few weeks off, we are now back to full-time training... only 10 months to go! I'm really looking forward to a hard and productive winter of training and to some fast racing next summer.