Athlete of the Month – July 2017
Known best as Suso, Jesus Gonzalez Alvarez of Spain has been on the international circuit for more than two decades. In 1994 Gonzalez raced in his nation’s under-23 men’s eight and since then he’s never looked back and raced in every lightweight boat class available. In 2004 Gonzalez made the Olympic Games and raced in the lightweight men’s four. Now 42 years old Gonzalez is in the lightweight men’s double for the 2017 season. For his incredible longevity and versatility World Rowing would like introduce Suso as our Athlete of the Month.
World Rowing: How - and when - did you discover rowing?
Jesus Gonzalez Alvarez: Rowing was a discovery by chance, I started practicing sport in 1989 and I was hooked.
WR: Why did you decide rowing was the best sport for you?
JG: It was that, the first few times I had a great feeling and I could not stop going to the club (Remo Miño).
WR: What is your most memorable race?
JG: The final of the 2006 World Championships, obtaining silver, And also the b-final in 2003, where we became 3rd and qualified for the Olympic Games.
WR: What is your favourite place to row?
JG: For training, the River Miño in Tui (Northwest of Spain Border to Portugal) and to compete, in Lucerne (Switzerland).
WR: What do you like about indoor rowing? (Gonzalez has the record for 1000m lightweight men 40-49 years old)
JG: I like that you can do very specific and very accurate workouts based on the objective that you have set. Also in bad weather conditions indoor rowing is key.
WR: What is the secret to doing well in an indoor rowing competition?
JG: First of all, get well prepared physically, a good start and then be very consistent in each pace, finishing the last minute flat out.
WR: How has rowing changed since you first started at the top level more than 20 years ago?
JG: From my point of view, the equipment has developed a lot. On the sports level, I believe that countries are becoming more professional. There is more equality and more countries with high quality.
WR: How have you changed?
JG: I have improved a lot technically and physically. The experience has also helped me a lot.
WR: How do you stay at the very top of your game against newer, younger competitors?
JG: Well, the main cause is due to my great motivation, because I like this sport. And all of the support of Nuria (wife), family and friends. Also the challenge of trying to win and help the new stars like Rodrigo Conde Romero.
WR: What do you still want to achieve?
JG: My biggest goal is to keep improving, fight get into the finals and help the young talents to improve.
WR: What is your advice to new rowers just starting out in the sport?
JG: To be honest with yourself and others, never give up, and always trust in yourself
WR: What do you do when you are not rowing?
JG: I am a National Policeman and when I am not in training camp with the national team, I work and train.