Former Regina Rowing Club member Rachelle Viinberg wins silver
Rachelle Viinberg, who trained at the Regina Rowing Club, was one of the eight athletes pulling an oar on the silver medal winning Canadian women's eight rowing team.
Garett Mathiason is keeping a close eye on the race. Having first met Rachelle in 1997 they competed together in the Canada Summer Games. He knew back then she would end up a successful Olympian.
“She beat the men’s standard for the provincial team. She beat me as well and this is a brand new athlete, so we knew we had someone special right then,” said Mathiason.
"100 per cent I imagine it. She was a very driven athlete and not just that but her physiology, she is a tall girl, probably around six feet tall and her fitness was off the charts as soon as she started," said Mathiason.
"When you combine talent with drive often that is what you get, often with a bit of luck too."
He continues to be a part of the Regina Rowing Club, and said the connection to an athlete like Viinberg is a inspiration to those starting out.
"Rachelle will be the second Olympian from the Regina Rowing Club. We had Tony Zasada in 1984 and since 2000 someone from Saskatchewan has been in the Olympics for rowing. It show we are doing something right," said Mathiason.
As for the type of rowing she competes in, the eight takes dedication and team effort.
"There is nine people in the boat, there is a coxswain who drives the boat and steers the command and then there is the eight women, each with one oar."
Viinberg plans to wrap up her rowing career after the Olympics.
Edited by CJME's Karen Brownlee.