Jamrog headed to Bulgaria for World Rowing Championship
Published 11:42 am Thursday, July 16, 2015
Olivia Jamrog is an expert at packing a suitcase.
The 22-year-old Edwardsburg resident has landed in Canada, Mexico, Italy and in the Caribbean during her various vacations.
Soon on her schedule from July 22-26 will be a trip to Plovdiv, Bulgaria. But she won’t get much free time as Jamrog will be participating in the Under-23 World Rowing Championships. Jamrog will be rowing in the lightweight quadruple scull division.
“I don’t know how fast the other countries are,” said Jamrog, who will be participating in the world championships for the first time. “We just want to put a boat together that can go as fast it can go and make the (medal) podium from there.”
Jamrog and her three teammates qualified for the world championships after placing first at the national team trials in Princeton, New Jersey. It marked the third time that Jamrog had tried to qualify for the prestigious event.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to represent your country,” Jamrog said. “Once you get a taste of it you want to make your dream a reality and prove to yourself that you can do it.”
After qualifying, Jamrog, along with the other rowers, must find a way to pay for all aspects of the trip. Renting a boat, air travel and hotel accomodations make up a part of the $4,500 to $5,000 fee for each person.
“It’s independently financed through fundraisers, private donations and out of pocket,” Jamrog said.
To help prepare for the world championships, Jamrog and her teammates have been training from May through July at a rowing camp in Milford, Connecticut. Jamrog was also at the camp the last two years.
Jamrog was a standout tennis player in high school at South Bend St. Joseph’s. Mostly playing singles, Jamrog went undefeated as a junior and senior. During her junior year, she helped the Indians win the state championship. St. Joseph’s was the state runner-up when Jamrog was a senior.
“We had a pretty good four years,” Jamrog said.
After her senior year of high school in 2011, Jamrog decided to retire her tennis racquet and try another sport, which was rowing.
“I could have tried to walk-on to play tennis in college, but I really didn’t consider playing tennis,” Jamrog said.
“I’m athletic and competitive and I like being in the water so I decided to try something new. I picked up the sport of rowing pretty quick.”
Jamrog, who’s majoring in philosophy and psychology at Michigan State, has been part of the Spartans’ varsity rowing team for four years.
“It’s pretty incredible,” Jamrog said. “I didn’t know I’d get into it so much. Physically and mentally it’s challenging and rewarding. But you learn to fight through the adversity. The experience has been great.”