Post Race Wrap: Lamenting Lucerne

The Rotsee in all her glory

What can you say when you cross the line in second?

"SHIT* Damn... Ahhh, Ooops, stuff me, F*%k... Wow O Oh, holy hell... That hurt."

Now I am pretty sure thats maybe how it came out. I think its hard to explain but the emotional regurgitation post a full race effort is one of the wonders of the World. Now compare the feelings of winning or coming second or any other place if you have rowed your self out, then its like coming to a place of complete surrender. You can't do any more and the exhaustion is only relinquished once that buzzer sounds.

Today we raced and tomorrow we start back into further preparations for the next phase and beyond. About today I can honestly say I had nothing more to give. Thats today though and what was so enjoyable was to be in a great battle. I am sure in a few days time I will look back and all the stories in my mind will have been created about missed opportunities etc, but the reality is today our Australian four put a mark down and the response from the British crew was truly commanding. Thats not to say they weren't pushed in fact I am sure they too feel much the same as I have described above but there is one glaring difference. They have gone home with the gold. All credit to them we took it out but could not hold on. No excuses here we were outclassed by quality performers.

As for what it was like during the race. Well its a strange thing to put in words. It felt like what we have planned for months. To race well. To move fast. To keep it light and to not back down. Soon after the start I could sense we had slipped away slightly and with it came some noise from the GB crew as if they sensed we were still moving and they were intent on pulling us back in or more importantly I assume they wanted to dominate. The second 500 felt like a defining moment with our two crews drawing away from the field and it becoming a bit of a drag race. I think today was like two different kinds of animal going at it to assert some authority.

We focused on our rhythm and yet enjoyed the excitement of the race. We have discussed a great deal about letting the boat work for us. We have some speed we knew that before coming in. How this would compare to others was another thing. I guess we are disappointed with the final outcome and can see the gains that can and will need to be made. The 1500m mark was another key moment and we had held well to that point but could feel GB pressing and the work rate was obvious. I was really happy we were still holding speed. I mean we tried to kick and probably lost ground which is not ideal but I don't think we did to much wrong and probably got more of it right. It was just a case of two crews digging in and one came up with the goods and the other lost its way. GB won by 1.2sec.

We have been picked to represent our country and today I think we did a fair job. I love the feeling that we have a great platform to build on for Munich and London. Its exciting to be racing in a way that makes you feel alive. I am proud of the team I am part of both the crew and the wider Australian team. The pathway forward is going to take us into the unknown. Being comfortable with the greyness and the isolation will be key. Grey because often our reserves will be low and our capacities will be stretched. The isolation comes as it can get lonely when we strive, uncompromisingly towards a moment. A moment that many won't understand and we will find hard to translate or explain. To engage in making four athletes one, in taking things further, faster, and beyond our wildest imaginings will have us questioning, doubting and fearful at times.

All this before we will know or anyone else for that matter what the final outcome will be of this. Its a story. We all need a good story and we all tell ourselves various spin off versions to make sense of whats happening or what just happened. Perspective tells me we have a long way to go and many things can happen so for now I reflect, lament and even present. For now I look forward to the next chapter. We leave tomorrow for Italy and will settle back into training.


Drew - keep it up my man. George
andrew said…
Gutsy racing! Great stuff
Unknown said…
Drew Ginn, your blog "Post Race Wrap: Lamenting Lucerne" is the most brutal, honest prose I have ever read.

You did by all means put in "a fair job", you did represent Australia better than any other person in the 22 million strong population could have! You are and always will be an Olympic hero.

But, to be brutally honest (and I allow you every right of reply because the internet is a terrible medium), your blog is very defeatist. It honestly comes across as though you are playing down your chances at the Olympics.

Please don't ever doubt yourself. To me and literally hundreds of thousands around the world, you are Drew Ginn. You are Australian and you are the best our great country has to offer.

Don't ever feel that you are letting a country down by not winning gold. The most Australia ever expects of you is to do your best.

It is a cliche.

But deep down you know that "a fair job" where you can get off the water and accept your medal and write a blog post, is not your best - I'm not talking the AIS sense of your best where you were 0.015% above your calculated max or whatever, but your best in the sense that you can look yourself in the mirror; your best in the Australian sense that you came off bloodied, beaten, breathless and in need of a stretcher.

Deep down you know that no one in the crew came within 1.2 seconds of that level of commitment, and that is brutally honest. At the big dance, just know you have it in you, the crew knows they have it in them and the country has faith in you all to represent them with a level of commitment you each individually are proud of.

We'll cheer you on regardless, but don't lose sight of the fact that they only hand these medals out to the worlds absolute best, which means you have to hit your limit as a human being.

Don't confuse this post with some attempt at encouragement. Accept it as the reminder that you are Drew Ginn and despite all your blog subscribers or whatever, you only report to yourself and that is all that ever matters.

Go Australia!
Unknown said…
A wise 15 yer old said coming second sucks so fricking much! But she says sucky stuff can be SOoooooo good for your rowing!

She quotes Newton's laws about energy -that energy is neither created nor destroyed - it can change its location within the system, and that it can change form within the system.

She looks at the medals hanging over the bed each night and takes that sucky energy from every silver and bonze and moves it along to look at the gold ones and plans to convert the sucky to the superb joy of winning bigger races & knowing that for that one moment you were the best.

She said you get so much more rowing energy conversion from silvers. The energy from Golds goes a little into warm, smuggy and satisfying emotions leaving less for the next race.

The real moment is London not Lucerne. Feel every sucky emotion from Lucerne and convert it to rowing energy and 3 more seconds of boat speed.

Coming second is meant to suck otherwise why push for first?

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