Jeannine Gmelin


November 3, 2023
"Over the past ten months, I have discovered resources in myself that I never thought possible before"
I have decided to get back into professional rowing. Paris 2024 is my goal. This decision took months to mature and was only possible thanks to the support and appreciation I received from those around me and my partners. They listened to me and, above all, gave me the time to go through this process, which is central to me.

So I'm getting back on board. I am doing so with great respect for the task, with enormous joy and in the deep conviction that I have discovered resources in myself over the past ten months that I didn't previously think were possible. I don't see it as a comeback, but as further development with a newly discovered depth and a different understanding of my sport and myself. There are many unknown parameters on the road to Paris.
First of all, I will have to earn my squad status again and pass internal association performance tests. These tests - together with the SWISS ROWING qualifying races in March 2024 - will decide whether my form and performance are good enough for a place in a federation boat.

What's more, the quota place for the Olympic Games in the single sculls is not yet secured. So there's a lot for me to do and time is short. That means I have to be absolutely focused, fully concentrated and give my all. I am convinced that I can count on your support - as always in my career. And your understanding that I will channel my energy and be completely absorbed in the foreseeable future.

Thank you very much for this.
Sincerely, Jeannine Gmelin
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My rowing world

The start
2000 metres of pure adrenaline

2000 metres, just under seven and a half minutes. Perceived from the shore as an elegant glide in a single. For me, it means 250 strokes of full concentration and power that take me to the limit of what I can bear. When the start light changes from red to green, it's just me and my boat.

The first 1000 metres - half-time

The first quarter of the course - maximum pulse: 200 beats per minute - the lungs are burning, lactate pain - like pricking needles - sets in. The voice that wants to tempt me to give in to the pain gets louder and louder inside me. I have to block it out - drive the boat stroke by stroke towards the finish. Focus on the moment, on my breath. 70% leg work, 20% torso work, 10% arm work. The end is approaching and the stroke rate now increases from just over 30 to almost 40 strokes per minute. Then. . . .

2000 metres and at the finish

. . . the liberating target horn. At first paralysed by pain, it takes me a few minutes to regain my senses and move at all. Rowing was once a hobby, then a passion, and now it's my profession.

Growing up with my three siblings in Uster, the town on the water in the Zurich Oberland, the Greifensee was my second home. Today, my home is wherever I can experience that indescribably light feeling of gliding across the water.

"Attention go" - Goal: Paris 2024

The search for the perfect stroke is endless. It drives me, you could almost say I'm obsessed with it. The interplay of endurance, strength, technique and mental skills is unique for me and is what makes this sport so fascinating: Waiting in the starting blocks for the "Attention - go", the tension that surrounds me, knowing the many pains I am about to go into. The curiosity to see how well I will manage to call off my race plan from the first to the last beat. And then, right before the starting gun, the great gratitude of being able to show what I work hard for every day, with a lot of passion and without compromise. The road to the top is challenging. Indispensable at all levels: Commitment, heart and soul and iron will. Inevitable: Ups and downs. But the long-term goal is clear: a medal at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris 2024.

Photo finish