Sport in Focus

Life after Rowing

Canadian rowers Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee, right, row away after winning a silver medal in the women's lightweight double sculls at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Lindsay Jennerich & Patricia Obee

After the hard yards and medals Canadian Olympic Rowing Silver Medalists Lindsay Jennerich & Patricia Obee take a look in the rear view mirror before deciding how they want to move forward with their lives

Sport in Focus in presented by Chris Stafford

Canadian rowers Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee won the silver medal in the  Lightweight Pairs at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, after which they decided to hang up their oars. With over 20 years in the sport Lindsay explains why she was ready to retire. She was an alternate for Beijing 2008, and competed in London 2012 as well as Rio. The pair have stood on two world championship podiums, winning silver in 2011 and 2014 in addition to Lindsay’s gold in 2010 with Tracy Cameron. Patricia’s move into the double came on the heels of her bronze medal in the lightweight single sculls at the 2011 U23 World Championships. After competing in the lightweight single sculls in 2013, Obee re-teamed with Jennerich in 2014 to win their first World Cup medal together, bronze in Lucerne. It was on that same course two years later that they claimed their first World Cup victory as a duo in 2016. Chris caught up with the pair in Victoria, British Columbia.

Podcast length: 36’53”

Lindsay explained why she decided to retire: “If you’re going to attempt to be the best in the world at something and you’ve got the option to choose the best choice for that sport and for that endeavor and you are choosing to be somewhere where you lose the opportunity to do your sport 365 days a day then right away you’re putting yourself out of the running. It’s not to say that it can’t be done. I mean our women’s team has proven for a number of years that they do alright — they do more than alright, they get medals, they’re quite often on the podium but I think that you would see in Rio the results of that inconsistency of water and erging when the world is not doing that and they are doing 99% of the things right you just cannot afford to be just one step behind and I think that was the main catalyst for wanting to be out in Victoria.”

And Patricia’s reasons were different: “I wasn’t actually sure before the Olympics if I would carry on – I don’t think I had really made a plan before the Olympics started but I do remember very distinctively when I crossed the line in Rio, obviously I was physically tired, but I was like just tired, I didn’t want to do that again. It was a bit too much the whole experience and I’m not sure if we had been able to just be under administration and under a consistent coach that we trusted and believed in and we just kind of showed up and do the program and success would happen, I’m not sure I would feel as tired after five years of being on the team but maybe I would. I can’t say for sure if that took a toll on why I’m retiring at 25 years old.”

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