EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Some of the men and women’s rowers from China, who are working to make the Olympic team, trained in Austin to escape the harsh winter temperatures in their home country.
It’s a well-known fact that many people flock down south in the winter to escape frigid temperatures. This year, a new crew arrived in Austin, Texas.
“It’s already very freezing in Beijing China so we can’t have any on-water training sessions in Beijing that’s why we want to come here. The temperature is very mild and this is a beautiful river,” said Quan Xu, Chinese National Rowing Team Manager.
More than 60 members of the Chinese National Rowing team landed on Lady Bird Lake, and have been renting equipment from the Austin Rowing Club.
The connection was made by longtime University of Texas strength and conditioning coach Sandy Abney, who was hired by the Chinese Olympic Committee last year.
In China, the sport of rowing is still in the infancy stage. There’s been a recent push to make it more popular through established clubs, school programs and competition at the university level.
Redgrave says those who make the cut for the Olympic team will have something else in common that’s hard to teach: passion.
“You can do all the training, you can do all the hard work that only gets you to a certain level. You have to have that will to win, you have to have the determination and that comes from the hunger, the enjoyment and the sheer work that has to go into that,” said Sir Steve Regrave, Performance Director for the Chinese National Rowing Team.