After a year away from rowing following the 2012 London Olympics, Saanich’s Lindsay Jennerich has returned to the upper echelon of her sport.
Her efforts paid off last week when she and Patricia Obee powered their lightweight double scull to silver at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, Holland.
It’s their second silver medal at the World Rowing Championships, the first coming in 2011.
“I think (this) silver medal shows Patricia and I that when we are healthy and injury free, we are within the top doubles in the world and we can be fast even when we don’t train together all year, so when we do it will be even better,” Jennerich said.
Jennerich, 32, is a former UVic Vike and Claremont secondary grad who was part of the promising Canadian boat with Tracy Cameron that won gold at a 2011 world cup series event.
When Cameron was forced to pull out during the 2011 season, Rowing Canada swapped in up-and-coming 18-year-old Obee (now 22) of North Saanich. It was a happy surprise when Jennerich and temporary teammate Obee won that year’s world championship silver.
When Jennerich and Obee were reunited for the 2012 London Games, they failed to compete for an Olympic medal, unable to advance to the final heat.
Since then, Obee has been competing for the University of Washington Huskies and as an under-23 athlete for Rowing Canada.
In 2013, Jennerich returned to training at the Elk Lake with Row to Podium, a group of Rowing Canada development athletes lead by Barney Williams, former national team rower and Vikes assistant coach.
“Very soon into my time off, I was getting the itch to come back,” Jennerich said. “I think an athlete should never retire when they feel that the best of themselves has not been revealed. I felt I could still be faster than I was in London.”
And with the silver in Amsterdam, Jennerich and Obee are creating a second chance for Olympic success at the 2016 Rio de Janerio Games.
“Getting back on the podium after taking a year off from training was very rewarding,” Jennerich said.
There’s a chance that Jennerich and Obee can train at Elk Lake this fall, the only women’s team do so. Canada’s men’s program is based at Elk Lake, but the women are based in London, Ont. Jennerich expects Rowing Canada request she report to London for the winter months.With Obee in her senior year with the Huskies, staying at Elk Lake would allow Jennerich and Obee to train together on weekends.
“Obee and I nearly set a world’s best time in Amsterdam, so I believe we are on track to do some pretty amazing things together,” Jennerich said. “That’s what I want to leave rowing with, is the knowledge that I was the best that I could ever be.”