Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

No rest for Manitoba rowers

Hanson, Jarvis, Kowalyk going to Olympics

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They're into three training sessions a day as they ramp up to the Olympic Summer Games in London -- and not including personal workout time -- but Winnipegger Janine Hanson doesn't see anything fatiguing about it.

"We can rest after," Hanson said Thursday night from London, Ont., following a press conference that named her to the women's eight crew for Team Canada.

And another training session.

"I've been saying this week I could do anything for 40 more days, and it's not that long now," Hanson said. "That's making it easy to focus.

"We have four weeks to make improvements, gain some more speed. We are amping up our training to find another second here or there."

Hanson, Kevin Kowalyk of the Winnipeg Rowing Club in the men's double sculls and Morgan Jarvis of Winnipeg and of the Ottawa Rowing Club in the men's lightweight double sculls were the three Manitobans named to the Olympic squads at Rowing Canada's simultaneous press events in London and Victoria, B.C., on Thursday.

The regatta starts July 28 in England at Dorney Lake, near Windsor.

Hanson's women's eights are coming off a gold at the World Cup in Munich earlier this month.

They beat five rivals that will be at the Games, but the U.S., which has edged the silver-medal-winning Canadians in the previous two World Cups, wasn't there.

"That (Munich) was a confidence booster but we know that's not enough," Hanson said. "We've been second to the Americans every time we've raced them, so in a month we're looking forward to having that not happen again. It's going to be tough but it's going to be exciting."

Hanson is one of the crew members who's been through the pressure. She competed in quad sculls for Canada at the Beijing Games in 2008.

"Going through the race jitters you get, the whole Olympic experience, the opening ceremonies in Beijing, having done all this once, I just think that taking that to London will be really helpful," the St. Mary's Academy grad said.

Still, the nerves will be present in a month's time.

"I get nervous before every race," she said. "It doesn't go away for me. I look for that feeling, embrace it. It's how you manage and deal with it and make sure you're not too nervous that you can't perform."

She will tell any of her nervous first-time Olympic teammates to soak it up, above all.

"Enjoy it," she said, sharing her advice. "Take it as great support that people are watching and cheering for you. It's not that you have to prove something; you just have the ability to give a solid performance. Turn this into a real positive, which it is."

Her own support group in England will include her fiancé, her parents, her brother and aunts and uncles.

Kowalyk will make his Olympic debut this year. The former recreational rower, finally noticed by the national team, competed at 2011's world championships in men's coxless fours, finishing seventh and he was ninth in the double sculls in the 2011 World Cup with partner Michael Brathwaite.

He has twice won the Royal Canadian Henley in the men's single sculls, in 2007 and 2009.

Jarvis also makes his Olympic debut this summer. He has been to five world championships, three in senior, having won a bronze in the lightweight quad sculls in Japan in 2005.

Jarvis began rowing in New Zealand when his family moved there with his father's appointment as Canada's high commissioner to that country between 1990 and 1994.

He has studied at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., graduating in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science (Biology) and in 2008 with a Master of Science (Molecular Medicine) and in 2010 with Juris Doctor in Law.

Canada seeks to improve on its 2008 showing in Beijing, which yielded one goal, one silver and two bronze.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 29, 2012 C5

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