1. How have you prepared differently for this quadrennial than previous cycles?
This time around I did way more bench press. Now I can put up more than Dan Walsh and Giuseppe Lanzone. Also, I can squat more than Schnobrich.
2. Did anything completely unexpected happen, or do you have any memorable or unusual stories from your previous Olympiad?
In Sydney, I was on a bus with Rulon Gardner, the Grecco-Roman wrester. He was mostly an unknown at that time and he started chatting to me about his event and who his competition was and etc. He explained to me exactly what he had to do to win. Then I went to watch him wrestle Alexander Karelin, who was undefeated for 13 years. Rulon did exactly what he said he needed to do and won by one point. In 2002, he was stranded in the Montana wilderness after an snowmobile accident and had to have a toe amputated, He was hit by a car on his motorcycle, and crashed a plane with two of his friends into a freezing lake, swam an hour to get to shore then survived overnight without shelter until rescue showed up. Crazy.
3. Any/Most important advice for first time Olympians?
Remember that it's just another boat race. Also, don't forget to breathe.
4. Do you feel older/better/wiser/stronger/other?
Definitely older, not necessarily wiser, I can bench more, and lot's of other stuff.
5. As far as regattas go, comparing the olympics to different races (worlds, lucerne), is it a better or different regatta, or just higher stakes?
It's actually a smaller regatta. There are less events, less entries and less people. Every venue has a slightly different feel. This one is great. The stakes are always high, that's why it's fun!
BRYAN VOLPENHEIN BIO:
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Current Residence: Princeton, N.J.
Club Affiliation: USRowing Training Center
Began Rowing: The Ohio State University, 1994
Date of Birth: 8/18/1976
High School: Kings High School
Undergraduate Education: The Ohio State University
Current Coach: Mike Teti
Personal: Bryan is a 10-time national team member and two-time Olympian...He stroked the men's eight to its first Olympic gold medal in 40 years and a world record at the 2004 Olympic Games...He also stroked the men's four to gold at the 2004 World Cup stop in Switzerland, beating the defending world champions from Canada and the eventual Olympic champions from Great Britain by open water...For his efforts, Bryan was named the USRowing Male Athlete of the Year in 2004, becoming the only person to ever win the award twice...He also won the award in 2002...Bryan took time off from rowing following the 2005 World Championships to go to culinary arts school at The Art Institute of Seattle...He did his apprenticeship at Rover's Restaurant and also worked at the Ponti Seafood Grill, both in Seattle...Bryan developed his interest in cooking in his early teens when he would come home from school and watch a cooking show on great chefs from around the world...His interest was put on the "back burner" until 2004, when he started cooking meals out of an Indian cookbook with his girlfriend...Bryan's culinary school focus was in French cooking methods, but he also enjoys Mexican flavors and Latin cuisine...His ideal meal is a grilled steak with a raw vegetable salad or grilled vegetables...Eventually, he would like to combine his rowing and cooking backgrounds to teach rowers how to cook healthy, inexpensive meals conducive to the training lifestyle...Bryan also enjoys reading cookbooks and recommends Tom Colicchio's Think Like a Chef: The Craft of Cooking and Paul Bertolli's Cooking By Hand...Bryan played baseball, soccer and volleyball growing up and began rowing in college...He grew up a huge fan of the Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals...Now, he is a big college football fan...Bryan lists The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan as one of his favorite books...He also likes the works of J.D. Salinger and F. Scott Fitzgerald...He is a big soccer fan and lists the sporting event that he would most like to attend as the final of the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA Cup.