With group activities on the water suspended nearly everywhere in the world, because of the Covid-19 lockdown, top rowers had to find different ways to stay hungry, motivated and keep their spirits up.

This is a series of videos called “Rowing Through Change” where we ask athletes how they’ve been handling these unprecedented times.

Whilst it has been a huge disappointment that most of the races have been cancelled in 2020, it has also been great opportunity for athletes to improve. It has also been a time for reflection.

Sean Murphy, Australia: “stay consistent to my training by finding ways to enjoy it.”

The Australian rower relocated from New South Wales to the Gold Coast to train with his doubles partner. Back on the water and back to his training routine of three sessions a day, Sean Murphy has been working on his “engine” to become faster, stronger, and hopefully qualify his boat to the Olympics.


Jackie Kiddle, New Zealand: “getting on the erg everyday was quite a challenge.”

The gold medallist at last year’s World Rowing Championships in the lightweight women’s double found out during lockdown that she was doing “too many things, too quickly. I had to learn how to slow down and be kind to myself.” Back on water now, she has one goal in mind – the gold medal in Tokyo next year.



Monday Morning at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz Ottensheim
© FISA Igor Meijer


Caleb Shepherd, New Zealand: “roll with the punches.”

The coxswain of the World Champion New Zealand women’s eight had to “roll with the punches, stay relax and do my part to help with the pandemic”. His group has now a good training plan going forward and will be aiming to take gold in Tokyo next year.


Meghan Musnicki, United States:hard not to be with my teammates.”

Meghan Musnicki is aiming for Olympic gold number three with the United States women’s eight. Loving how team-oriented the sport of rowing is, it has been hard for her to stay away from the oars. She sees the Tokyo delay as an opportunity to be “fitter, faster and get better as a team.”


Roman Polianskyi, Ukraine: “An opportunity to become stronger.”

The Paralympic and World Champion from Ukraine saw the postponement of the Olympics as an opportunity to “become even stronger.” He also said that being close to loved ones helped him “move forward even faster.”


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Maria Kyridou, Greece: “A gift for us to improve.”

A junior, under-23 and Youth Olympic Games gold medallist, Maria Kyridou from Greece has been training in the National Olympic Centre in Athens. The young rower saw this extra year as a “gift” to gain more experience in the light of the Olympics next year.


Tone Wieten, The Netherlands: The Olympics in 2021 are motivating me.”

World Champion from the men’s quad, Tone Wieten is “so happy” to be back on the water now. Preparing for the European Rowing Championships in Poznan, he also has his sights set on the Olympics next year in Tokyo.


Martino Goretti, Italy: “It was fun and motivating to see each other breaking records.”

The Italian sculler, shifting into the Double sculls this year, scored a few indoor rowing World Records during lockdown. “It was a big motivation and fun to compete event if we were not in the same place,” he said.


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