Athlete of the Month - November 2014
Angel Fournier Rodriguez is now Cuba's most successful rower ever and he is showing every sign of not only holding that position, but becoming the best in the world. At the 2013 World Rowing Championships Fournier's silver medal in the men's single sculls was the first ever World Championship medal for his nation and he followed it up with a bronze at this year's World Rowing Championships.
The statuesque Fournier started off in sport playing Cuba's more popular sports of baseball and basketball before moving to rowing as a 12-year-old. There are about 500 rowers in Cuba and Fournier's success has helped to make the sport better known in his country.
Currently Fournier is in Mexico where he will compete in the Central American & Caribbean Games. World Rowing is very proud to have Fournier as our Athlete of the Month.
World Rowing: How well-known is rowing in Cuba?
Angel Fournier Rodriguez: Rowing in Cuba is becoming well known mostly due to our recent results.
WR: How did you start rowing?
AFR: I started to row when I was 12 years old. (A trainer discovered Fournier in Guantanamo and invited him to try rowing)
WR: Did you practice any other sport(s) before you took up rowing?
AFR: I used to practice baseball and basketball.
WR: Where do you live and train?
AFR: I live in Guantanamo and I train in the capital Habana, where the Training Center for High Performance is located.
WR: Are you a full-time rower?
AFR: I dedicate myself 100 per cent to Rowing.
WR: What is a typical day like for you?
AFR: A normal day includes several training sessions and some rest.
WR: What do you do when you do not row?
AFR: When I´m not training I rest and try to clear my mind of training and competition.
WR: What is your favourite regatta venue?
WR: What do you like about the single?
AFR: What I like most about the single is that I totally depend on myself and therefore the results, good or bad, are my entire responsibility.
WR: What do you admire about your competitors?
AFR: What I admire most about my competitors is the communication we are able to have between each other and also the friendship that exists.
WR: After the Beijing Olympic Games, you became more and more successful in the single. What do you attribute your success to?
AFR: After Beijing I've grown a lot and all this development is related to the change of coach, to good planning and to the training programme.
WR: What are your future goals in rowing?
AFR: My main goal is to win an Olympic Medal.
WR: How do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
AFR: I see myself being the "World's Best" rower.