By: Max Winitz firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenny Sichel is a coxswain for the USRowing Paralympic, LTAMix 4+ boat. In 2015, she and her crew received silver at the World Championships. A year later, she took a silver medal back to the United States after a stellar performance at her first summer Olympics in Rio. Besides rowing, the New Jersey native enjoys running, pole vaulting, baton twirling, and playing softball. After rowing, she plans to study veterinary medicine.
We spoke with Jenny during an autograph signing at the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
What is the experience like being a coxswain?
Jenny: It’s amazing. I love the fact that you have to basically walk that fine line between an athlete and a coach. You have to keep the leadership involved without overstepping the boundaries. You also have to make sure the rowers respect you and I love that.
What was it like stepping on that platform in Rio and receive a silver medal this year?
It was cool enough to be able to wear the USA gear around and represent the county, but then, to be able to bring home a medal, was beyond belief and amazing. There was so much pride from the USA participants, friends and family, but also from the Brazilians and all the other countries. It was really neat and it made me cry a little bit on the medal stand.
What has your experience been like at Nathan Benderson Park, the home of the 2017 World Rowing Championships?
We went to training camp down there last year. It’s really nice! I love having the warmup area and the barrier to prevent the waves. It’s just so cool and I think it’s going to be a great place next year for the World Championships.
If all goes to plan, do you expect to be participating in the Championships next year?
Heck yeah. Absolutely. I want to keep going for it. If everything goes to plan, I will see you down there.
As a member of USRowing, aside from the Olympics, what does it mean to have the biggest international regatta taking place on your home turf?
I can’t even describe it in words. When you go abroad, you are so proud to represent, but then for everyone to come to your country and be able to see what you work with and where you row and race, it’s so cool. I want to get gold next year. It’s one thing to get silver, but it’s a whole new ball game when you’re in your country and racing for your country.