Redman’s team took the gold for rowing
First year physical therapy student Jamie Redman went to the London Olympics this summer as an alternate for the women’s eight boat, who would go on to win an Olympic gold medal.
Her full-time job for the past four years was rowing. She was on the national rowing team, competed around the world. She also holds a world record in rowing.
“I’m grateful I got the chance to see what all the fuss is about. It’s so unique. I see why people go through pain and poverty for the chance to go,” said Redman.
Redman is from Spokane and first started rowing in 2004 with the Spokane River Rowing Association. After graduating from Lewis and Clark High School, she went to college at Yale University and rowed for them for four years.
Redman trained in the Under 23 National Team as a collegiate rower.
After graduating from Yale, she was invited to join the national team in 2009. She then put her life on hold to live and train at the USRowing Training Center in Princeton, N.J., for the next four years.
Redman is a five-time World’s medalist and set the world record for the eight-person rowboat at the 2012 Samsung World Rowing Cup II in May.
This record in the 2-kilometer race is still untouched at 5:54.17.
Until the Olympics, Redman had not missed a single race with team USA for three years.
Twenty women train for the Olympics and only eight get to race, according to Redman.
“Going to the Olympics was emotional. It puts you through the ringer,” said Redman.
Trials were three weeks before the Olympics. “It’s not about how strong you are for four years, it’s about how strong you are that week you’re in trials,” said Redman.
“It’s a little bit hard. If I were a little healthier, if I had done something different I could have been on that boat,” said Redman.
“Such a small percent of the population are able to push themselves in the sport of rowing in order to win world champions and set world records. I never had any doubt that she would make it [to the Olympics],” said Lisa Galow, active member of the Spokane River Rowing Association and longtime friend of Redman.
Team USA women’s rowing head coach Thomas Terhaar felt Redman helped push her teammates by giving her best in trying to make the team.
“She was a great spare with a great attitude the whole way through. It’s not easy and very few alternates are able to be as supportive as she was,” said Terhaar.
“Jamie has always been a great teammate and continued her role in London,” said Esther Lofgren, Redman’s teammate who went on to compete in London.
According to Galow, Redman is a hard worker and dedicated. “The Spokane River Rowing Association, close friends, family, the community and I are all responsible for supporting Jamie in her efforts to row to the top,” said Galow.
The eight-person boat is 60 feet long, weighs 200 pounds. All the women on the boat are tall and fit. Redman said she was among one of the shorter ones at 6-feet.
The national team rowed 200 km per week, lifted weights three times a week and cross-trained as well. Sundays were their only days off when they did a seven-mile run, according to Redman.
Redman loves her teammates and said it was extremely competitive training together. No one takes a rest day because that could jeopardize a spot in the boat.
“Excellence brings excellence,” said Redman.
Redman is proud of her team for winning gold at the Olympics. “I pushed them everyday,” she said.
Redman thinks the United States have the best female athletes for rowing because of Title IX programs, which allow women who compete in the U.S. to compete in sports collegiately.
“Americans have been so dominant [in rowing]. Everyone brings their ‘A’ game. When the Olympics come around everyone rises to the challenge when the world is watching,” said Redman.
“Going to the Olympics was a combination of Christmas, birthday, college spring break and happiness every day. It was absolutely surreal,” said Redman.
Redman is currently taking a year off to let her body heal after what she explained as a crazy few years.
By joining a running club in Spokane, Redman has been rediscovering why she loves athletics.
Right now Redman’s focus is education, rehabilitation and getting 100 percent healthy.
“Jamie is strong, fit and loves to win. All things you need at the highest level of rowing” said Lofgren.
Redman’s goal is to compete again at the 2015 Pan-American Games and World Rowing Championships, but ultimately, she wants to go back to the Olympics.
“[Jamie] is young with a lot of potential. She is very young in rowing terms,” said Terhaar.
“I have unfinished business with the Olympics,” Redman said. “I was so close and it is fully within my capability to go back.”