Athlete of the Month – December 2016
Martin Sinkovic is one half of the Rio 2016 Olympic gold-medal winning men’s double sculls. The other half is his older brother, Valent. The two have taken that boat class by storm since coming together in 2014, never losing an elite race in that time. Before the double Martin was part of Croatia’s most successful men’s quadruple sculls with two senior World Championship title from this boat as well as an Olympic silver from the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The popular duo has now surprised the rowing world by announcing they will switch to the pair.
World Rowing: How was Rio?
Martin Sinkovic: Rio was great!! We had a great time there, especially after the race when my wife arrived and we had an amazing time to the end of the Games.
WR: How does Olympic gold compare with your other successes?
MS: Olympic gold is by far the most precious medal to me. We have had a very successful career so far but without Olympic gold it wouldn't be whole.
WR: What do you remember about the Rio final?
MS: I remember that we were happy that race had finally come and that we could race for the Olympic gold!
WR: How is rowing with just your brother different to rowing with others in the boat?
MS: Rowing with only my brother is very special and better than anything else. When you row with someone, sometimes you spent 24 hours together. Because of that, it is very important that you row with a person who you understand and that you are happy with.
WR: What is your job in the boat?
MS: My role in the boat is to achieve perfect rowing to support my brother so that we can row perfectly together.
WR: Why are you changing to the pair?
MS: We were thinking about what we could change after the Olympic Games. And we had an idea to go to pair and to try to be successful in the pair. That is the big challenge for us and our coach and we enjoy the new discipline.
WR: Which rower do you most admire?
MS: I admire all hard working rowers who give all they can for their dreams.
WR: Are you able to row full time?
MS: I am full time rower. I study sport management but that is not my priority. I am all in for rowing for now and it is the best life I can have.
WR: What are you doing now for training?
MS: It is too cold for rowing in Zagreb (Croatia) just now so I am doing lot of ergs and running. Three times a week I go to the gym.
WR: What are your plans for 2017?
MS: In 2017, we have a plan to race in the pair and to have the best races we can. The plan is to go as fast as we can and I believe then we will have some good racing.
WR: What will you be eating on Christmas Day?
MS: On Christmas day in the morning I will eat homemade ham and boiled egg, spring onions and homemade bread and lot of cakes. In Croatia, Christmas breakfast is very important and everybody puts a lot of attention into it. For lunch some roast beef and pork with potatoes and lots of salad.
WR: What is the best rowing advice you have ever had?
MS: The best advice I’ve ever had is to train hard and believe in myself.
WR: What is your next big goal?
MS: My next big goal is to stay successful in the pair and that we have as good a technique in the pair as we have in the double.