Following a disappointing finish at London 2012, rower Julien Bahain hit the water.
He and a partner rowed across the Atlantic Oceanic in 49 days. It was a way for Bahain to shake off what he calls a “devastating” 10th place finish in London.
“I did that and found I still had the fire inside me to go on with rowing,” said Bahain. “I went out and trained with the French team and then after a few months I moved to Canada.”
“After I took a year off afterwards, I was eligible to change countries,” said Bahain. “In 2014, I packed my bags and ended up in Victoria. I’m proud to be a part of the Canadian Olympic team.”
26 rowers were nominated to Team Canada in June. Bahain will join Will Dean, Rob Gibson and Pascal Lussier in the men’s quadruple sculls at Rio 2016. Rodrido de Freitas Lagoon in Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana zone will be home to the rowing events from August 6-13.
Making the switch from rowing in France to Canada has had its challenges. Along with training in English, there are differences in how the programs approach rowing.
“In France it’s more technique, how it looks and fine art,” said Bahain. “It’s a very technical focus and then you learn to put power in. In Canada it’s more of the opposite; we’ll get strong, fit athletes and we’ll teach them to row. Here it’s really how strong are you where in France it’s more about how well you row.
“If you believe in what you do, that’s the most important thing. If you believe in your programs, coaches and teammates, that’s how you’ll succeed.”
Bahain has been able to find success with the Canadian team, winning gold in the quadruple sculls and men’s eight at the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games. He’ll look to reach the podium again this summer – this time in Rio.