"Being a sportsman is a nice way to live:
striving for large goals, pressing yourself
daily, exceeding your boundaries," says
marketing analyst Matthijs. And last but not
least: "Rowing kept me from drinking!"
"It is different from what everyone else is
doing. It’s unique," says medical doctor Geert.
"I’m not a grey mouse, I’m a crazy mouse."
The men’s four podium at
the 2007 World Rowing
Championships: New Zealand
win gold, Italy silver and the
©2007 Getty Images
As for Jan-Willem, he simply "refused to chase
"I was attracted to water," says Gijs. "Actually
wanted to sail, but it was too time-consuming for my family to travel around
Europe to go sailing. My father was a rower,
and recommended rowing to me."
Gazing far down the course, twenty years
from now, the four of them plan to get back
together in a boat, with an added change to
the current training programme: "After our
row, we’ll go to a pub and have a beer. If we
have as much fun in the pub then as we have
in the boat now, it’ll be awesome." ■ D.F.