UOIT student-athlete celebrates gold at the Canada Summer Games

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UOIT Ridgebacks Media Release

August 29, 2013, Sherbrooke, Que. (ISN) – UOIT rower Nik Vantfoort (London, Ont.) continued to add to his long list of accomplishments as he won two medals at the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que.

Racing in the quadruple sculls and eight races, Vantfoort earned a gold and silver medal respectively on the final two days of the competition. The late stages of the finals of the quadruple sculls race was nail biting as team Ontario edged out British Columbia by less than two seconds to win gold.

“The most memorable part of the Canada Games was the quadruple sculls race because of the amazing start my crew had which allowed us to pull away,” said Vantfoort. “Just before the half way point, our bowman caught a huge crab that stopped the boat dead in its tracks pushing us back to fourth place. After we recovered we rowed our hearts out and walked through the three boats ahead of us to take home the gold.”

Rowing with some of the top athletes in the country was certainly an experience that Vantfoort will never forget, even though he raced with his rivals on the University circuit.

“It was a really cool experience. At first it seemed like there were some grudges being carried over from University season but after spending hundreds of hours together, we really bonded as a team. The competition was a challenge because everyone had trained for this event and was throwing down the best times they could on the water, which made for a lot of very close and exciting races.”

To prepare for the games, team Ontario trained in Welland prior to the event. Although he has had great success in his rowing career up until that point, Vantfoort still doubted his abilities matching up with such great competitors on his team.

“Once I arrived in Welland for training camp, in my eyes I was one of the weaker rowers on the team. That drove me to show up to practice every day with the goal to better myself and train as hard as I could. I think that helped me the most in preparing myself mentally and physically for the games.”

Vanfoort will return to school this fall in the Energy Systems Engineering program, but after experiencing such success on the water, he has bigger goals that he never imagined before attending UOIT.

“I think it would be an honour to represent my country on the international stage, but I have a lot of work to do before that point. I am going to keep the same mentality and keep striving to better myself and help those around me to do the same.”

UOIT rowing training camp opens up on August 27th and you can ensure that Vantfoort will be ready to go in the early hours of the morning at the Port Perry Rowing Club on Lake Scugog.