Birthdate20 Mar 1994
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Athlete of the Month – May 2019
German lightweight sculler Jason Osborne is back in the double for 2019 after a world championship winning run in the single last year. He tells us about his unfinished business in the double and his passion for another sport.
World Rowing: How are you feeling at the start of this season?
Jason Osborne: This year will be quite different because it's all about the lightweight double. I think my doubles partner and I have made good progress and I'm looking forward to seeing how we compare against all the other doubles.
WR: What are you most looking forward to this year?
JO: Of course, the World Champs with the Olympic qualification is the highest priority, so I'm quite looking forward to that and we will give it our very best to be in those seven qualifying spots.
WR: Why was 2018 your year to become World Champion?
JO: Early in the season in the national events I noticed I was having very good form in the single so I decided to give it a shot at the first international regattas in the lightweight single. It turned out I was becoming the one to beat, so I decided not to switch back to the lightweight double and to continue the single and do the World Champs.
WR: Why did you take up rowing?
JO: I took up rowing as a ten-year-old. I started in a small club and since the beginning I was quite successful (winning my first-ever race) so I was motivated and decided to keep going. I continue to row because I think there is still a lot to achieve in the sport.
WR: You’ve also been cycle racing - what was it like and how does it compare with rowing?
JO: Cycling is my second favourite sport so I'm also excited to see how I compare to other cyclists. The main difference, in my opinion, is the length of a race. In rowing its almost always only 2km, but in cycling it’s often full gas for many hours which gives you quite a different sensation of pain. I would say that rowing is more painful overall as the lactate is also building up in the upper body. Cycling on the other hand can be very demanding (physical and mentally) because a race is often very hectic and you have to be very focused. If you don't watch out you'll end up at the back of the peloton very quickly.
WR: What is your favourite part of training?
JO: Seeing the progress from the hard work you put in.
WR: What is your favourite course in the world and why?
JO: My favourite course is Munich, because I like the turquoise colour of the water and the venue itself. It's very inviting to go for a swim after training if it's warm. It's also very quiet and I don't feel distracted in any way.
WR: How do you feel about ergs?
JO: At the beginning of the winter season I'm always confident and excited trying to beat my PBs. Coming up to summer season I'm happy to be on the water rather than sitting on those boring machines.
WR: What is your goal for this season?
JO: My goal is to qualify for the Olympics and win some medals in the lightweight men’s double.
WR: What is your long-term goal and how do you plan to achieve it?
JO: My long-term goal is actually not that far away, which would be to win an Olympic medal in Tokyo in the lightweight double. Since Germany hasn't won any Olympic medals in this event, this is a great motivation for me. After Tokyo it's possible that I will switch to cycling and see how I'm doing there.
WR: What’s the best rowing advice you’ve ever had?
JO: Concentrate on keeping your muscles relaxed rather than feeling the tightness. Simple but it works for me. I feel a lot more relaxed and able to sustain a fast pace for longer.
WR: Which sportsperson do you most admire?
JO: Primoz Roglic (former ski jumper, now professional cyclist) I respect him a lot because he made change to a completely different sport and has become one of the very best at it.