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From U23 to elite, following a dream

Team Sucess: (from left to right, top to bottom) Salome Ulrich, Sofia Meakin, Lisa Loetscher, Nina Wettstein, Célia Dupré (me), Fabienne Schweizer, Pascale Walker.

Since I was a little girl, my dream was to go as far as I could with rowing, which for this sport is the Olympics.

I moved to Switzerland 7 years ago now and have been rowing for almost 10 years. For the last 5 years I have been part of the Swiss rowing team. I have been part of the junior national team and the u23 national team, and now I am taking the steps towards becoming an elite team member.

The elite get to dream of one day racing for an Olympic qualification spot, and in some cases even get to race the Olympics. This dream of mine and of my teammates has slowly become more and more visible. These last few years, a project has formed around sending a womans quad to the Olympics. This project has come in to full swing with 7 girls, now under the name of Team Success. 7 girls are fighting for 4 spot in a boat. Each of us pushing the other harder each day to try and make one of those seats.

Last month selections were made for that boat, and I was selected alongside 2 of my teammates from last year, Lisa Loetscher and Salome Ulrich, to race the quad at the elite level. Pascale Walker, our stroke woman, led us with great determination towards the 2nd World Cup in Poznan, Poland. There, after only 3 trainings, we gave it our all and after winning our heat by open water we won a medal. Not any medal, a sliver medal, the first medal for Suiquad.

This was a huge confirmation that this team and project was moving in the right direction and that the Olympic dream could become a reality. But not so fast, first we have the much awaited, European Championships in 2 weeks in Munich, Germany. And after that, at the end of September, the World Championships in Racice, Czech Republic.

As this team grows, we hope to get to share our journey with you and to celebrate the best moments but also show the raw emotions that go in to our everyday training.

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