Birthdate13 Jun 1989
|PR3 M2-||CAN||FA Final||1||07:16.420||View Details|
|PR3 M2-||CAN||H1 Heat||1||07:43.700||View Details|
|PR3 Mix4+||CAN||FA Final||4||07:10.210||View Details|
|PR3 M2-||CAN||FA Final||1||07:12.820||View Details|
|PR3 Mix4+||CAN||R2 Repechage||2||07:25.550||View Details|
|PR3 M2-||CAN||X1 Preleminary||1||07:13.690||View Details|
|PR3 Mix4+||CAN||H2 Heat||2||07:23.080||View Details|
Athlete of the Month – August 2020
Thirty-one-year-old Canadian para rower Andrew Todd is the reigning champion in the para PR3 men's pair (PR3 M2-). He had been gearing up to try to turn that to Paralympic gold. He tells us, though, that is now off the cards, but he does have another important event to keep him busy.
World Rowing: How is your 2020 going - and how have your plans changed?
Andrew Todd: My 2020 has been going considerably well considering all that has gone on with COVID-19. My wife and I are expecting our first child in September so originally the plan was supposed to be to compete in Tokyo and come home to take some time away from training for a bit and spend it with our new family member. Given that the Paralympics have been postponed by a full year, I have now had to plan how I will manage training next year with a little one.
WR: Where are you training and are Covid restriction affecting that in any way?
AT: I reside in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, which is on the east coast of Canada. Originally when COVID-19 hit, things were very restricted and I was only able to train from home on my erg. I created a space for myself that was dedicated just for training to help me stay motivated and focused. Now I am able to row, although only in the single for the time being. The focus has been on good rowing and taking quality strokes at low intensities so that I am rowing as well as I can when we get back into the crew boats.
WR: How did you first get into rowing and what made it the sport for you?
AT: I first got into rowing in 2007 when I was in first year university. I started as a novice on the school team looking for a new sport and challenge. After having fun with it for a couple of years I decided in 2009 that I wanted to take the sport seriously and try to go somewhere with it. It was at this point that I realised it was the sport for me. It had the perfect balance of challenging me both mentally and physically, which is what caused me to develop a passion for it.
WR: Where is your favourite place to train?
AT: One of my favourite places to train would still have to be where I started rowing, in Ottawa, Canada. The river goes on forever so it is very easy to get long stretches of water where you can just keep going and only have to turn when it is time to start heading back to the boathouse.
WR: You switch a bit between sculling and sweep oar - do you have a preference?
AT: I think I go back and forth between preference. They each have their appeal and I am glad that I have the opportunity to do both. My favourite boat classes are the pair and double because it is always fun to be able to row with someone else and to push each other to be better. But being in a small enough boat that you can notice individual changes that you make. I like that they are both unique though. The pair is like a ‘single for two’ where you have to work with your partner to mirror one another and work together to move the boat in that way. The double is a very responsive boat, and much lighter and sharper than the single. This makes it very technical since it can respond in both a positive or negative way to your boat speed depending on what each of you are doing in the boat.
WR: What is your pair dynamic like and what's your role in the boat?
AT: Kyle (Fredrickson) and I are both goofballs off the water, but we try and take things very seriously when we are in the boat. We both recognise that there are going to be good and bad rows, and we typically remind each other of this when one of us becomes frustrated if a row isn’t going how we would like. What’s interesting is that although we are ten years apart in age (I am older than he is), we both started rowing at the same time. As far as our physical contributions to the boat, Kyle is definitely the strength and power in the boat while I bring the aerobic stamina. We complement each other well when it comes to this and we often joke that if you put the two of us together you would have a ‘complete’ athlete.
WR: What's your most memorable rowing moment?
AT: I don’t think I have a specific moment, but there is one thing that comes to mind:
The fall rowing season – I love the cool mornings and getting out on the water in the early morning as the sun is coming up. Typically the fall is a lot of longer mileage so it is nice to just focus on trying to row as well as I can and covering as much distance as I can in the allotted time period. This season also coincides with the university racing season where I rowed in university and I have a lot of fond memories from this.
WR: What do you do when you're not rowing?
AT: You’ll usually find me out in the countryside enjoying some time outdoors, whether it be fishing, swimming, canoeing, or simply having a bonfire. This is my way of relaxing and clearing my mind. I also enjoy woodworking and building things. Since my wife and I bought our home a few years ago, I have built several pieces of furniture, including our dining room table.
WR: Which athlete do you most admire?
AT: As a former lightweight, I always admired the way that the Danish lightweights used to train. Many of them managed jobs outside of their training and still managed to compete successfully at an elite level. They managed to do this for multiple Olympic cycles which showed that they truly loved their sport and that it was also possible to have a life outside of rowing to maintain balance.
I have also always admired Olaf Tufte as an athlete. He was a part of the sport long before I even knew what rowing was and he continues to be big part of the sport. His work ethic and passion for rowing are commendable and he manages to do this all while having a family!