“With persistance you’ll get it, but with consistency you’ll keep it“
Apart from physical training, do you have mental training scheduled in your routine?
Not particularly. I would argue that we train so much that by the time we have free time, we choose to switch off and rest.
How do you manage to keep calm before and during a competition?
We have put in so much training to get to that position, so I just trust myself and rely on the long hours we have put in.
What is a normal day like as a professional paddler?
A lot of training, 2 to 3 times a day, with an emphasis on recovery in between.
What are your hobbies apart from sport? What other activities are part from your routine?
Well, I enjoy being active by doing things like surfing and swimming at the beach, as well as camping and adventuring.
Is there a place you enjoy the most training? Why? And for competition?
I enjoy training close to home because we have excellent weather all year and eternal summer, but I also like Hungary, where we do a lot of work during the international season. Hungary is a fantastic spot to train and unplug. My favorite place to compete is undoubtedly Germany, I love their courses over there. I’m looking forward to racing in Duisburg.
Is there and athlete you enjoy the most training with?
I enjoy training with our men’s squad. I have a lot of banter with the boys I train with day in and day out, which keeps you on your toes. I have not had much time to train with the internationals but that will hopefully change soon. I would love to train with Jacob Schopf from time to time.
Tokio 2020 were your first Olympic Games. How did you feel winning a Gold Medal in your first Olympic experience?
It was incredible! I am not sure how to put that into words or how to describe my feelings. Given that this was Jean and I’s first international competition together, it made it even more surreal to win a gold medal. Winning that gold medal in Tokyo was just an unforgettable experience. I am so glad we got to celebrate this memorable event together with our coaches and support staff, who worked tirelessly to bring us there.
In this Olympic Games, most of the people expected a victory from Germany K2 Hoff-Schopf. How did you feel about not being “the favorite boat”? Did that help you to be under less pressure?
To be honest, we were still under a lot of pressure from ourselves and our country. However, it was exactly the right amount of pressure; a little pressure is excellent.
K2 1000 is not in the Olympic program anymore and for Paris 2024 it changed to K2 500. How do you feel about that change?
Having the K2 1000 removed from the Olympics is a bit bittersweet, because we just started that distance and did well, and now it’s gone. It would have been good to keep it there for a little longer. However, I believe Jean and I enjoy the shorter distance, so I’m excited to see what we can produce from here on out.
A few days ago, you became PA Champion in K1 1000 after a nice face-to-face race with Jean van der Westhuyzen but Westhuyzen won K1 500. How do you feel about this rivalry? Are you taking advantage of it?
Of course, you want to win the K1 500m, but it’s a great testimonial to the K2 that both of us are paddling well and that we go tit-for-tat in the K1 across the 1000m and 500m.