Be the Inspiration: Julia Edward & Sophie Mackenzie
Where do you get your strength as a team?
We get our strength from supporting each other through hard times and good. We know what makes each other tick, and are constantly trying to bring out the best of each other’s strengths. You have to have a lot of power to go from stationary to as fast as you can in about 10 strokes, so by the end of it, your body’s shattered, and you’re sore, but you know you’ve done all you can and you come off the water feeling a lot better for it, physically and mentally. We work-out on and off the water to build physical strength. There’s work in the gym – squats and deadlifts, lots of chin-ups, unfortunately – to predominantly build up leg and back strength.
How did you get together as a crew?
We had a brief “engagement” period – we were first thrown together as a crew just five weeks before the 2014 world championships in Amsterdam. But we instantly clicked, and came up with a philosophy - keep everything simple and not dwell on the small things.
What about mental strength?
Our experiences on the world stage are helping us build up a mental toughness. Leading up to the Olympic Games, it’s really important for us to stay in our bubble, and keep together, keep tight, be around positive people. Being completely honest with each other, just so that we are in the right headspace. Our team consists of a coach, physiologist and physiotherapist.
How did you get into the sport?
We began rowing at high school – (Julia) at Rotorua Girls High, and (Sophie) at Marlborough Girls. When we were young we looked up to strong female athletes so we want to give back and be an inspiration to young girls out there, being on the world stage, we feel that we can do that.