Lewis rows for Rio and beyond

by User Not Found | Oct 21, 2015

It’s no wonder that for Lewis Hollows, it took some time for the moment to finally sink in, that he and his crewmen had won a silver medal at the recent World Rowing Championships in Bulgaria.

“At first, there was a lot of pain, I was physically exhausted. It was when I was catching my breath, that it became obvious and then I realised, ‘this is what I’ve been working for all this time’.

After years of 5:30am training sessions, regular travel and a lot of sacrifices in-between, Lewis and his New Zealand crewmen; Cameron Crampton, twin brother Russell Crampton, and Jordan Parry came second in the under 23 men’s quadruple skulls event.

After the pain, came the joy.

“I was pretty stoked. I had both my parents, my sister and my best friend from London, who were in the grandstand, so it was really special to share that moment with them.”

Crossing the finish line in 5 minutes and 47 seconds, the lads couldn’t keep up with the Canadians, but were too good for the Australians.

They celebrated in style and went to the pub with the rest of the Kiwi team.

Lewis was named in the New Zealand rowing team in March this year and moved to Cambridge, where they trained at Lake Karapiro.

Lewis said training was ‘pretty hectic’ with 13—3.5 to 4 hour sessions each week— of weights, cycling, indoor rowing and then out on the water.

The 22 year old ASG student says he enjoys sprint work and high intensity training the most.

“It takes a lot of grit and determination and just getting through things, because some training sessions aren’t as enjoyable as others.”

But having grit is a quality, which Lewis has developed since he started rowing in 2008, and says he likes to take a sense of leadership in the boat.

“I’m the stroke seat, I’m the guy at the back of the boat and everyone follows you. So if I do something wrong it effects the performance a lot more. If we’re coming to the last leg of the race, and I”m exhausted and I can’t take up the strokes per minute, and going into the sprint at the end, the guys behind me don’t have anyone to follow.”

Lewis hasn’t left them astray and for now, his medal is hung up with the others from the national champs.

Very soon, Lewis will find out if he’s been selected to train with the New Zealand team in summer, ahead of the Rio Olympic rowing selections in March next year.

“I train with the Auckland regional team, so training with the New Zealand side is definitely taking it up a notch.”

And Lewis knows he’s got his work cut out for him!

“I have to work my butt off. I know I have a bit of speed to catch up on compared to the other guys.”

But the future is looking good with Lewis looking at a rowing career until at least 2020.

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