The atypical Olympic experience

The atypical Olympic experience

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The closing and opening ceremonies, living in the Olympic village and having the chance to talk to people from other sports is what makes the Olympic Games different from other major sporting events.

However for SASI's Head Rowing Coach Jason Lane, the rowing venue at Eton Dorney, 40 kilometres west of London, led to an atypical Olympic experience.

"According to our more experienced team members and coaches, the London Games were very different to what the crews have previously encountered," he said.

"Out at Eton Dorney we had our own village and as a result we kept away from the main Olympic activity in London, so in many ways it wasn't that much different to being at a World Championship regatta.

"There were probably advantages and disadvantages to that. An advantage was that we weren't exposed to distractions that can occur with being in the main village, while on the other hand we didn't get to experience the full Olympic atmosphere.

"Having said that, once the regatta was over we did move into the main Olympic village and had the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere, but it was a bit weird being there and knowing that your competition was over."

Lane, however is not complaining, far from it. An Olympic debutant, he regarded the chance to coach the Women's Quad Scull crew of Kerry Hore, Dana Faletic, Amy Clay and Pauline Frasca at the 2012 London Olympic Games as a terrific opportunity, enabling him to bring back ideas for the SASI rowing program.

"The Olympic Games is certainly a different level of competition, even from the World Championship level and I now know what is required for the next four years for our program," he said.

"The margin for error was very minimal. In most of the finals there was very little from the Gold medallists through to the sixth placed crew."

"I think the biggest thing for me is the consistency of training, the Games probably showed how important it is to have a crew in place for the majority of the four year cycle."

Quite clearly for Lane the highlight of London 2012 was being able to be on hand to watch Chris Morgan and James McRae (pictured above during pre Olympic competition) win a bronze medal in the Men's Quad Scull event along with Dan Noonan and Karsten Forsterling.

"It really was something I was personally proud of," he said. "Just knowing their role within the SASI program and how much work they have put in to get the bronze medal and last year's World Championship title. I was so glad to be on hand to see it."

Although the Olympics have barely finished, Lane is already looking towards the next cycle to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. He believes the experience gained by Renee Chatterton in the Women's Eight crew in London, the recent success enjoyed by Olympia Aldersey (Gold) and Alex Hill (Bronze) in the Under 23 World Rowing Championships and Riley Lum, who competed in last week's Junior World Championships in Bulgaria, auger well as Rio prospects.

"We really do have some good potential for the SASI rowing program over the next four years, so I am really looking forward to be a part of this next Olympic cycle," he said.

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