Kika in China

Rowing at the Universiade with the USC Elite Sports Fund! 🚣‍♀️☀

After rowing on the sunny water in China during the World University Games, it’s now time to study and train in the cold Netherlands again. No matter which direction you’re rowing in, it always feels like there’s a headwind. These conditions are totally normal again for UvA student Kika. Although she can’t help herself to sometimes think back to her sunny adventure in China…

Kika in China USC-topsportfonds

Kika and Aurianne on the water at the Universiade

VIP lounge and woodlice

“It was a very special experience and I really had an Olympic feeling.” When Kika arrived in Shanghai together with the Dutch team, she found herself in a VIP lounge, after which they all went to the big opening ceremony in hundreds of buses full of athletes. “Over there, we were welcomed like celebrities!”

The first days, the team struggled a little bit to adjust to the new climate. From working your way through the wind on the Amstel river, to sweating like crazy in the Chinese sun. “Luckily, we also had some time off in our busy schedule to visit Luo Dai Ancient City. An old Chinese village with temples and local delicacies, like maggots and woodlice. 😉

Completely exploded

The day after, it was time to race! Kika’s goal: reaching the big final. “Unfortunately, we ended up in 2nd place behind the Italian boat. After 1250 meter I had already completely exploded…” But after a fast start in the do-over race, Kika and her partner Aurianne made their way to the big final.

In the medal race, it was an intense battle with 4 boats. “Italy, Japan, South Africa, and us. Halfway the race we were in 3rd place, but we were not able to accelerate in the final stretch, after which South Africa just beat us on the line. That way, we ended up in 4th place overall.”

At first, it felt a little disappointing, “but now that it’s all over, I look back on our summer with a great feeling and very satisfied! Thank you to USC for making my adventure happen.”