Jack Beaumont is a British rower who represented Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This is part 1 of his exclusive interview with Ashwyn Lall, founder of Ash’s Sports Talk. Jack shares his journey to the Olympic final, his views on planning for life after sport, developing a positive mindset, and his views on showcasing rowing as a sport for everybody. Parts of the interview have been edited for reading comfort.
Part 1 – How Jack’s rowing career started
Ashwyn Lall: What inspired you to start rowing?
Jack Beaumont: My dad inspired me to take up rowing. He represented Great Britain in the Olympics in 1988 and finished in fourth place. I always thought that it was cool that my dad was an Olympian. He took me down to Maidenhead Rowing Club, and the rest is history!
How did your rowing journey progress during your time at Maidenhead Rowing Club?
To begin with, rowing was purely a hobby. I was training once to twice a week with my mates, to try and win at local competitions. Unfortunately, the wins did not come around often. I lost a lot more than I won, and even lost to several girls’ teams!
I loved spending time at the rowing club. As a teenager, life got overwhelming at times, and I saw the club as a place where I felt happy. With all this time spent on the river, I started to get quite good. I found the rowing machine to be a great way of relieving my teenage angst. I was progressing really quickly, and when I turned fifteen, I had a chance to trial for the Great Britain junior team. I was very proud to be selected for two junior world championships, the experience of which inspired me to aim for the Olympic team.
What challenges have you had to overcome during your career?
My biggest challenge was a significant injury I had in the summer of 2015, exactly a year before the Rio Olympics. Training was going fantastically for me. I was 21 years old, I just became a full-time athlete, and I was improving at a rate of knots. I was on a training camp in Portugal and had a head on collision with another boat. The boat hit my back and that resulted in several fractured bones in my spine. I had to spend a week immobilised in a Portuguese hospital. During my stint in hospital, I had no idea whether I would be able to row again or even if I would walk again.
I went through four months of intensive rehabilitation which left me with eight months of training before the Olympics. Although the odds did not look good, I never considered giving up. The target of the Olympic Games had was still the same. I threw myself at the rehab training, pushing myself on the bike, in the pool and in the gym. […] I was playing catch-up with my teammates who seemed to be on the direct road to the Olympics, whilst I was taking the windy country route to even get back into a boat.
During this tough time, my family was great. My parents, stepparents and grandparents have always been so supportive of my career, and their support made an enormous difference.
Learn how Jack got started on his personal Plan B in part 2 of this exclusive interview to be published next Saturday …
Ashwyn Lall is the founder of Ash’s Sports Talk and has an array of experience in digital marketing in sport. He was inspired to create an innovative platform which promotes sports positive influence on bringing inspiring experiences to the world. First published at https://ashsportstalk.org/. Parts of the interview have been edited for reading comfort.