Q&A with Aberdeen Dad Vail Gold Medalist & Latvian National Champion Edgars Boitmanis
Philadelphia, Pa., May 24, 2013 ĖEdgars Boitmanis, rowing for Oklahoma City University (OCU), took first place in the menís collegiate singleís event at the 75th Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta. The menís and womenís single competitions at this regatta are the only sculling events in organized collegiate racing. This year OCU took the gold in both the menís and the womenís events. The Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta is again the leader for collegiate sculling just as they were more than 35 years ago with the introduction of womenís events at the regatta.
Boitmanis became interested in attending Oklahoma City University while living in his home country of Latvia. OCU was well known for its emphasis on sculling as compared to most United States emphasis on sweep rowing. In addition to producing multiple medal winning scullers, OCUís state of the art rowing facility, the Devon Boathouse, is a designated National High Performance Training Center used by USRowing. Edgarsí father, the late Irinia Boitmanis, was a rowing coach at the Majori Club in Latvia. Edgars grew up around the sport and always took it seriously. As a member of the Latvian national rowing team, he has participated in many international regattas and has won a variety of medals.
Although a senior at OCU, he will be doing a fifth year to complete his double major in Political Science and Economics. An active member of the OCU community, he was elected Vice President of the Student Government Association this spring. Before returning to Latvia for the summer, Boitmanis took the time to do an exclusive interview with the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta.
Question. When did you start rowing?
My dad used to be a rowing coach. Sometimes he took me to practice and put me in the boat as a coxswain. I enjoyed the experience and had fun in the relaxed atmosphere at practices, so when I was 13, I started to row. This June it will be exactly 10 years since I first got in a shell as a rower.
Q. Did you always scull or did you ever sweep row?
I actually started rowing in sweep boats. I began in the pair, which is the most technically challenging boat. It helped me to grasp the fundamental rowing technique. Then after my pair partner gave up the sport, I was forced to take up sculling. It wasnít easy, since it felt like starting all over again, but after sculling a couple hundred miles, I was ready to compete. When I came to OCU, I was able to do well in sweep and sculling shells, since they are both part of OCUís rowing program.
Q. How did you hear about OCU?
When I was in the high school in Latvia, I was excited by the opportunity to row at a U.S. college. That was a perfect way to continue the sport I love and gain a high quality education. So I started to look for U.S. colleges with menís rowing programs. I emailed dozens of college coaches and many replied back. OCU attracted me with their emphasis on sculling and all the development on the Oklahoma River.
Q. What was it like competing against your teammate Matthew Maddamma, who took silver in the 2013 Aberdeen Dad Vail Regattaís menís college single scull event?
Maddamma and I are fierce enemies on water, but, nevertheless, we are also great teammates. Over the past years, OCUís fastest single title has been gone back and forth between Matt and me. I knew that to beat him I needed to build as large a lead as possible early in the race, because Mattís second half of the race is really strong. Last Saturday, I was able to execute this plan, even though it was really hard to hold my lead over Matt during that second half of the race.
Q. As a two time Latvian national champion, are you planning on trying out for the Olympic team?
Like any other athlete, I dream of competing in the Olympic Games. Now that I have finished my rowing in college, I intend to continue to compete at the next level. I will be training at the Oklahoma City National High Performance Center next season. I am really excited to train along side so many exceptional athletes. I am ready to put in hard work and I hope it will reflect in my future performance.
Q. Aside from rowing do you have any other career goals?
I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience at OCU. I dream of returning to Latvia and running for public office or starting my own business.
Aberdeen Asset Management PLC (Aberdeen) is an asset management group, which invests as a traditional, fundamental investor on behalf of institutional clients, advisers and individuals globally across all major asset classes. Aberdeen has assets under management of approximately $322.4 billion (as of March 31, 2013). Aberdeen was established via a management buyout in the city of Aberdeen, Scotland in 1983, and today, operates in 23 countries around the world, employing over 2,000 staff. Aberdeen champions first-hand research and believes close teamwork is the best means to discover investments for their clientís portfolios. Aberdeen is involved in sponsorships in which it can actively get involved and make a difference through an event, individual or team. Aberdeenís current sponsorship portfolio includes both amateur and professional properties across a number of sports including, golf, sailing, rugby, field hockey and rowing. Aberdeen is also involved with a number of cultural and arts sponsorships.
Content reviewed and published: 5/30/2013 2:49:39 PM
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