Ondrej Synek competing
in the semifinals at the
2008 Beijing Olympic
Games where he
The 2011 season is well underway, and Synek is
focusing all of his attention on the World Rowing
Taking one step at a time, he tells World Rowing:
“I would like to be successful in Bled, and then I will
think about London. The main goal is to qualify
for the Olympic Games. If the 2011 season is as
successful as 2010 I will be very happy. But I think it
will be very difficult and I will have to do something
a bit more than I’ve been doing now. But of course,
I’d like to be the World Champion again.”
and focused. I’m very
hard on myself when I
train and I don’t let any doubt cross my mind.
Otherwise I’m just a normal guy.”
“2010 was the
best year of my life. I won
all the regattas at international level
and my daughter Alice was born.”
Any message to send out to your competitors?
A family man, Synek describes his daughter
(due worryingly close to the World Rowing
Championship final), his wife, and his mother as
the “light of his life”. When not training, or on his
motorbike, Ondrej spends time with family as a
way to relax away from the boat.
“That’s easy. I don’t give up!”
● Laura Fell
This ‘normal guy’ started rowing aged 13, casting
aside football and athletics when he realised that
rowing, which he did simply to socialise and meet
new people, could be the sport that defined his
life. Yet Synek is wary of the dangers of putting
too much pressure on junior rowers.
© Igor Meijer
“It’s better to be with my family and a little easier
to be on my motorbike! And, of course, I like to
sleep a lot.”
“People just starting rowing should do it for fun
first and then for success.” Also very conscious
of his own personal motivations, Synek adds:
“You should never row for money. Rowing is a
Synek lives in Prague and trains at rowing club
Dukla Praha. Aside from hours of training, Synek
is also building a house for him and his family in
neighbouring town Stara Bolestav, where life
seems idyllic for the 28-year-old.
Perhaps surprisingly, Synek also finds time to cook.
“Yesterday I cooked strawberry dumplings with milk
curd. I like cooking,” he told World Rowing.
A goldsmith by trade, Synek says of himself: “I
am a technical, skillful man. I know how to fix a
lot of things.”
And the one thing that scares the champion?
“I hate spiders. So please don’t throw spiders at me!” Ondrej Synek
Issue 17 – August 2011