A detailed insight from the Laser Radial sailor on lockdown life and how the “young guns” of Denmark have helped her improve ahead of the postponed Tokyo 2020
Tell us about your memories of Rio 2016:
Winning the bronze medal in Rio was very special to me and something that I will never forget. We didn’t get to race on the first day and had to wait for the next day because there wasn’t any wind. Suddenly we were sent out and there was a big storm coming – it was just complete chaos. I remember I was very nervous and actually just wanted to get it done so I could relax! Then the next day we raced in very fair conditions; I thought that the left was going to pay off but it didn’t, it was the right side which came on the second upwind. Before the Medal Race I was in second position, but during the race Annalise [Murphy] passed me. She was doing a really nice race and took the silver medal; I took the bronze. I’m very happy about it, but it was quite a challenge in the Medal Race and I was very nervous – luckily it turned out great. Receiving that medal on the podium that day was just something that I will never forget. I had my whole family over there cheering for me on the podium and that meant so much to me, and I still remember that moment as if it was yesterday.
What has lockdown been like for you? How did you train and keep fit onshore while you weren’t allowed to sail?
We came home from Majorca [after Trofeo Princesa Sofia was cancelled] in the beginning of March. In Denmark we were allowed to sail from the beginning – although we didn’t as it was quite cold! But it hasn’t changed so much, actually, from what we were doing. At first we trained a lot because we still thought that the Olympics were going to happen, so of course we were trying to figure out ways to still stay fit onshore, like lifting weights. We did a lot of bike riding too, even though it was close to 0 degrees! After the postponement of the Olympics, we took more of a down period. I even signed up for some courses at the university. I kept the training going as it got warmer in Denmark and more open, and now we are training as normal. It’s been a really hard period with the postponement of the Olympics, but it’s been okay. I have a great team around me and that definitely kept me going in this difficult time.
What made a huge difference for me during lockdown was definitely the group that I was training with – all the “young guns” from Denmark who were pushing really hard. I don’t think I would have improved as much in this time if they were not there, so big thank you to them!
With Tokyo 2020 being rescheduled to 2021, what are your plans for the next 12 months, and how will you prepare and train for another year of Olympic campaigning?
It’s been very hard to make plans. At the beginning of this period, we were kind of waiting for everything to open up and see what kind of races we could do. Right now, our next competition is Kieler Woche, which takes place in September, and then the Laser class still have the Europeans in October in Greece, so of course we are hoping for that. Otherwise there aren’t many plans right now; we don’t know where we’re going in the winter period, we don’t know when we can go to Japan again to train. Of course, I hope that everything will open up very soon and we can just travel the world like we always do, but right now all the training is from Denmark. They’ve also opened for Norway and Germany, so we’re trying to make different groups and get a fleet going here in the summer period. Otherwise I have no idea what my plans will look like going up to Tokyo 2021.