My guest today epitomizes what it means to follow a dream and to completely transform oneself into an olympic champion. Andrea Proske joins me for a discussion about her amazing life journey. At 27 years old, Andrea had very limited experience with team sport and although an active person by nature, she had never pursued excellence in her life through sport, let alone had never rowed in her life.
At 27, She was working in the hotel industry at the time and had the opportunity to compete in her first Tough Mudder race. After this race, she became inspired to change her life and to find something new and challenging to tackle. As she says in this episode, she felt stuck in her life, not sure what to do.
She wasn’t sure what this new challenge was going to be, but would go on to give rowing a try and what a story this turned out to be as 3 short years later she earned herself a spot on the Canadian Women’s National Rowing Team.
In our conversation today, we unpack the roles of resilience and determination in Andrea’s life and how she was able to overcome numerous obstacles throughout the 8 years that she took up the sport of rowing, including a serious accident in 2015.
In Andrea’s own words, Failing forward quickly became her motto…. she braved injuries, underperformance, the firing of an abusive head coach, falling out of the boat more times than she cares to admit, a global pandemic and a historic Olympic postponement. But along the way she learned valuable lessons on handling failure, burnout, uncertainty… and the power of sisterhood.
On Friday, July 30th, Andre Proske’s dreams came true as her and her team of 9 won Canada’s first gold medal in rowing in nearly 20 years.
In this episode, Andrea talks about the Tokyo Olympics and what life has been like since winning gold. She also shares the work she is doing now and what her biggest hopes are in moving forward in her life.
Wherever you are in the world listening to this, I hope you find value in this discussion as there is so much that we can learn from Andrea’s journey.
In her Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, Andrea Proshe was a member of the women’s eight that won gold. It was Canada’s first Olympic gold in any women’s rowing event since Atlanta 1996 and the first gold in the women’s eight since Barcelona 1992.
As a club rower looking to break onto the national team in 2016, Proske attended her first international regattas in Amsterdam (Holland Beker) and London (Henley Royal Regatta). The highlight was winning the senior women’s single sculls at the Henley and by the end of the year she was received her invitation to the national team.
She first represented Canada on the senior international circuit in the double sculls with Gabrielle Smith in 2018. In their World Cup debut as a duo, they won silver in Lucerne. Later that summer, they finished sixth at the World Rowing Championships. They won another World Cup medal in 2019, this time a bronze in Rotterdam. They capped the season with a fourth-place finish in the double sculls at the world championships, qualifying the boat for Canada for Tokyo 2020.