Video: Kiwi rowers into Olympic grind

Kiwi qualifier Emma Twigg (Photosport)
Kiwi qualifier Emma Twigg (Photosport)

Elite rower Emma Twigg has just peaked physically at the last chance regatta in Lucerne - she'll have to peak again in 10 weeks at Rio.

The rest of our Olympic rowing team are about to start racing on the same Swiss lake for the World Cup.

"It's about practicing in training - putting your body into a place that you don't really want to put your body to," says Twigg.

Twigg put everything into qualifying for Rio at the regatta of death. Every athlete did, it's just most weren't so successful.

"Being here seeing the emotion, heartbreak, pain, tears, joy and elation you see on the guys - I'm really glad I haven't been part of it," said veteran Hamish Bond.

Eric Murray and teammate Bond qualified early so no need to punish their bodies too much in Lucerne.

"It's a difficult one, pretty much you have to be art full peak to make it to the Olympics and then you've got to go down, really build yourself up in the next eight weeks to the Olympics and it's very hard," adds Murray.

For Twigg it means every race between now and Rio, she'll be imagining that Olympic start line.

As much as possible Rio needs to feel like any other day in the office.

"The mental side of things is huge and that's something that I've learnt in the last two Olympic cycles. You can be as fit and strong as you want to be but the Olympics is another kettle of fish altogether."

The entire Olympic squad's arrived in Switzerland for the World Cup and stays in Europe until Rio.

Their next 10 weeks goes a bit like this - hotel, food, training, food, hotel, sleep, training, food and so on.

"We get half a day off and then occasionally a day off at the end of the week here and there and basically I spend that in bed," notes Murray. "I'm at the stage now where recovery means more to me."

And right now for our elite rowers it's about whatever it takes for Rio, because all medals are worth something - but Olympic medals are priceless.

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