Rowing their way to Tokyo 2020
by Lisha Van Nieuwenhove
She wanted gold, and she got it.
Uxbridge’s Jaclyn Stelmaszyk went to the 2019 Pan Am Games as part of the Canadian rowing team – Lightweight Ladies Doubles Rowing category, to be precise. And Stelmaszyk was intent on working on a time that would lead to qualifying for the Canadian Olympic team that will go to Tokyo next year.
She and rowing partner Kate Haber, of Owen Sound, are one step closer to making that happen. They rowed to a gold medal at Albufera Medio Mundo in Huacho, Peru, on Aug. 9.
Stelmaszyk and Haber, who are known as the “Mommy Double” to their teammates, were sitting in third after the first 500 metres of the final race, but they quickly moved up to the front, finishing ahead of second place Chile and third place Cuba.
Haber isn’t new to the Pan Am Games podium – she won gold in the same event at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.
“Leading into the race it was really awesome to feel so much support behind our crew and our boat and it gave us some great confidence and some fuel that we could use during the race,” said Haber in an interview with International Sports News. “During the race, we could hear the crowd cheering at the finish line…it was really exciting.”
The Team Canada rowing team is now gearing up to compete at the ultimate event, with 16 Canadian crews heading to the World Rowing Championships, which being this Sunday, August 25, and go through to the following Sunday, September 1, in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria. These championships will be the main qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
CORRECTION: Uxbridge Bruin and USS Tiger Dylan Ross was not killed in a motorcycle accident earlier this year, but rather in a motor vehicle accident. The Cosmos apologizes for this error. Aug. 15, 2019