The Canadian women's eight of Lisa Roman, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Christine Roper, Andrea Proske, Susanne Grainger, Madison Mailey, Sydney Payne, Avalon Wasteneys, and coxswain Kristen Kit won gold today, Canada's first gold in the event since 1992. We spoke to Mailey, Kit, Wasteneys, and Payne briefly right before they bolted to the official press conference.
row2k: You guys were under the radar this week for sure; what did do you do during the week to get yourself ready to win this race? Also, when you are out in front like that and you can see everybody, can you describe it and what you were thinking?
Kristen Kit: Well, process focused, that's the easy one.
Madison Mailey: During the week, we have nightly meetings, and we came together as a crew and talked about our goal, and talked about the process, and not getting ahead of ourselves and taking every stroke in stride. Then during the day, we try to relax and stay off our feet.
Avalon Wasteneys: Hard chill.
Kit: I do some workouts.
Mailey: Our coxswain is a bad ass!
Sydney Payne: Our coxswain does two hour bike rides every day. Two-hour bike runs every day.
Kit: I go out on their balcony on the bike trainer; they come and check it out every 30 minutes, cheer me on.
Mailey: During the race, when we saw we were up - I felt that during our heat and our rep, we hadn't really strung together the race we wanted. I thought we had a really solid middle 1,000 both races, but never really got that sprint and that start together.
So off the line, we really trusted our strength and our fitness that we could go really hard and hold it through that middle 1,000 with this awesome rhythm I think we were able to create. And then, when we saw we were up, I just thought, "How much can we get up?"
Sydney Payne: Taking it one stroke at a time.
Wasteneys: Personally, it's been like a perfect storm. I feel like this past week I've just been letting it brew every day, being very relaxed, and not letting myself get too excited. And then, today, I went, "It's go time!" Just let all the nerves out, and I saw so nervous before that race, but sitting in the start line, I thought, it's nerves that get you through the line. So I just embraced it, and every stroke committed to giving my best race for the girls behind me.
row2k: What about maybe the last 100 meters? You just protect, right? Or no?
Payne: I thought of pushing more and more.
Mailey: I thought in the reps, we didn't do that. I thought we were careful, just because we wanted to secure our spot in the final and we didn't have that next gear. We've done it before, but not in a race. Today, we did it, and it felt sick.