Five minutes with Zoe McBride
The reigning World Champion of the lightweight women’s single sculls, Zoe McBride is aiming to defend her title at the 2016 World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
From New Zealand, McBride’s 2015 season was nothing short of spectacular. As well as becoming the lightweight single World Champion, McBride broke the long-standing World Best Time in this boat class by going 7:24 for the 2000m race during the World Rowing Cup. McBride also teamed up in the lightweight women’s double sculls to win at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships.
Just 21 years old, McBride has packed a lot in her rowing career which was inspired by watching the sport during the 2008 Olympic Games.
Progression… Through high school I always performed quite well and then it flowed onto juniors. Then the first year I made under-23s. It was a toss-up between whether I chose to row and pursue that full time or go to University. I chose to go for the under-23 team. We were successful that year and it has built from there.
Motivation… In the single it’s just me so I am constantly pushing myself to be the best I can be. When you achieve the targets and the goals, it’s pretty awesome to know that you’ve put in all the work. And then the whole Rowing New Zealand team around me, it’s such a successful programme and we’ve got so many world class rowers that you’re rowing beside, so that’s pretty motivating.
Favorite training session… Fast pieces. Sometimes I’ll be next to Emma Twigg and the reserve single. It’s really fun to go out with them. Those girls are just so fast, so for me to try to hang on or try to push them is fun. You get a lot out of it.
Least favorite… Probably the long distance rows. Sometimes we’re doing big k’s (kilometres), so if you’re by yourself in the single, it’s not a fun time, especially when it’s a wet rainy day in New Zealand.
Outside of rowing I like…Chilling out with friends and family. And I study part-time. I love exploring new places. There are beaches to go to and walks and getting outdoors.
Current focus … For now it’s obviously this regatta and to perform to the best of my ability and to have a good end of the season in the single.
Future goals…To be at the Olympics in 2020. So over summer and over the next few years, I want to make the double and progress; ticking off all the World Cups and World Champs leading to the next Olympics. I really want to be there.
In ten years I want to… Have an Olympic gold medal.
My friends think rowing is…Pretty crazy, but they see why I do it.
McBride races in the semifinals on Thursday 25 August with the final on Saturday 27 August 2016.