Our trip to Racice will be one to remember--the week of training leading up to the race was amazing. We made good improvements on every single row and had time to get familiar with the course, the weather and mentally prepare for competing at a high level, as the other teams started to trickle in from all around the world. Mike and Michiel made our training easy, because they handled all of the equipment, logistics and any possible distraction without having it affect us, our mental preparation. It felt like we could just fully focus on the important variables without wasting any emotional energy on anything else. We were able to enjoy some coffee shops, the beauty of the city, and fully embrace being on TEAM USA with all of the other athletes the entire week of preparation as well as the week of racing.
In our first race for lanes we stayed very internal and wanted to have a solid performance, without getting distracted by the other crews next to us. We executed it alright, but had room for improvement in our starting sequence, so we used the next two days to work on quickness, did some very specific drills and were able to feel ready on the day of our final, both physically and mentally. Our final race was a really aggressive and solid piece all around--we stuck with the Italians (the current record holders in the LW pair) as long as we could, made some moves away from Germany in the middle and still had room for a sprint that closed the gap on the Italians towards the line and finished the race in second place. That night, we went out to eat with our two coaches and family, which was memorable and delicious. Of course we had gelato, too.
We are looking forward to taking a week off from training (we’re on the bus to Italy right now) before coming back to Philly. Our bodies and minds are asking for a break from the intense training and they’re also screaming for us to consume pizza, pasta and gelato—-so we gotta listen to those voices.
We are (and always will be) grateful for anyone who supported us in our preparation, whether is was financially, verbally, emotionally or in any other way. Physical preparation for a race is only part of the formula. Mindset is also a huge part of the equation, and having positive, supportive people in our corner was at times the only thing keeping us afloat and made a big impact in our ability to keep moving towards our goal. Our silver medal represents that teamwork, support and contributions of the entire community, and the entire 4-month journey that lead up to our race, it’s not just a reflection of those 2000 meters on the day of our final—it symbolizes way more than that and tells a story.
Solveig & Elaine