Im in Newark airport for a 5 hour layover after an 8 hour flight, typing on my phone, so please excuse grammatical and spelling errors

UPDATE: gotta go to catch my flight. Thanks for the questions Reddit, sorry if I didn't get to yours!

Comments: 403 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

iliketurtl3s309 karma

How do you feel about the fact that your rowing advice posts in /r/rowing were actually downvoted before you were found out to be an Olympic medalist and then people started violently upvoting?

Rummelator313 karma

I seem to remember them being very slightly upvoted beforehand but something about a Reddit algorithm downboted the posts when people started upvoting them, or something along those lines. I don't think they were negative at any point, but if someone did I don't really mind. I think I gave good advice and if people didn't want to follow it then that's their choice! I was really happy that my game of thrones questions were answered really well after people started checking my comment history

tallis797245 karma

Did you get embarrassed about all the attention paid to your junk?

Rummelator365 karma

A little bit, but I thought the whole thing was funny

ster21595116 karma

What's your 2k time?

Rummelator146 karma

I haven't actually done one this year but my guess would be low 5:50 or high 5:40's. Doing a test wasn't a priority for our coach this year

stlouisbrowns103 karma

How you doing man?

Rummelator114 karma

Tired and jet lagged!

IHaveNoFiya88 karma

I will probably be downvoted for this but let me state that I am not attempting to be rude or condescending in any way. As an "average joe" I could not be more proud of the men and women that are good enough to perform in these games in the first place. It takes a very talented individual to compete with the best in the world and for that I tip my hat to you.

Now for my question. Is there a certain sense of disappointment when not winning a Gold medal as an American athlete? I would imagine that there is a sense among most American citizens that we are the "best" in the world and that we "should" win Gold in most Olympic events. Moreover, is there a sense of pressure to perform at an extremely high level being an American athlete?

Rummelator195 karma

At one point, right after the final I got kind of depressed. I just kind of realized how awesome it would be to have won. It wasn't until I was leaving the course when everyone stopped me to congratulate me on the way that I realized it's a pretty unique experience and something I should be proud of. Every experience is different, and I really wish we had won, but I'm proud of the result

cbyers59 karma

Do winning coxwains still get thrown in the water at the Olympics? If so, do all countries do so?

Rummelator79 karma

I'd say it's a standard tradition, though there are only two Olympic events with coxswains in them, the men's and women's eight

My_Wife_Athena29 karma

What do the coxswains do exactly?

mustnt_wear_pants74 karma

Coxwains are like a mix of an on-board coach and a navigator. In small boats that have 1, 2, or 4 rowers, the person rowing bow seat (closest to the front, who can see everyone else) controls the rudder and makes calls to the rest of the boat regarding strategy and stroke rate (number of strokes taken each minute). Since they're racing too though, the frequency of the calls is very limited. In the large boats with 8 people, it was too difficult for the guy in bow to shout so everyone could hear him before modern speaker systems were introduced, so the role was filled by coxwains. The larger boats are also much more difficult to steer, so on fast, technical courses (in the fall season races are 5000 meters rather than 2000 meters, and rarely on straight waterways) coxwains are essential for safely and efficiently navigating the course.

Rummelator55 karma

This is pretty much it. It's like having a coach onboard for a training or racing session, and during the race he tells us how were doing and calls out the race plan.

InstaSpartans59 karma

How is it like at the Olympic Village?

Rummelator113 karma

I didn't stay at the village but I did hang out there a few days. The coolest part is by far the dining hall. It's basically a big warehouse full of buffet style food stations with athletes eating there 24/7. As for the parties, most of the parties were in London away from the village so it wasn't as raucous as people are reporting.

unicornmaster1955 karma

Can you speak any other languages besides English considering you grew up in Denmark for a little while?

Rummelator114 karma

I'm fluent in Danish and English and I'm proficient in German

unicornmaster1946 karma

Vielen Dank für die Beantwortung meiner Frage.:)

Rummelator72 karma

Kein problem

mondongos50 karma

how many hours a week do you train?

Rummelator91 karma

4-6 a day with Thursday mornings and Sundays off

FirstLongTimeTime52 karma

How do you make a living? Are you paid (sponsorships) for rowing? Are you extremely busy and balance a full time job on the side?

Rummelator121 karma

Some of us get a small monthly stipend from USRowing and the USOC in addition to free healthcare. I had a part time job when I was training in NJ, but when I moved to CA I had to quit and have been tutoring math to high school and college kids to get by.

JewishIGuess43 karma


Rummelator51 karma

My medal is in my backpack until I get home! Rowers don't really make any money, so we rely on donor funding to give us a stipend that is paid out by USRowing. Most Olympic rowers also have a part time job. If I could do any other sport as well as I row, it would be basketball. I love basketball but was never very good at it.

ragsclaan40 karma

Thanks so much for doing this and congrats on the bronze. Couple questions:
1) If you don't mind, what's your 2k, 6k, 60', etc?
2) What is your least favorite workout?
3) How do you prep for a 2k?
4) How would you compare training at Harvard for sprints and IRAs versus an olympic training cycle?
5) Do you prefer rowing the 4- or the 8+?

Rummelator51 karma

1) 2k and 1 hour I haven't done in a long time, but last fall I went 19:06 for a 6k I think 2) least favorite workout is any erg workout whily hooked up to an altitude machine. 3) I suppose you mean pieces, in which case we will usually do a starting thousand or 750m piece two or three days before the race. On the day of I try to get plenty of sleep and eat a good but now full breakfast. Just enough to make me feel good, but not enough to make me feel heavy or sluggish 4) we do a lot more volume than I did in college. In college you can't do the same type of workouts because you have a big time constrain, so you have to adapt by doing a different type of training 5) I prefer the 4-, but I really like the 2- too

sunnyflavoratnight35 karma

Do you get those horrible blisters on your hands?

Rummelator49 karma

Not anymore!

Vyae34 karma

How did you decide that rowing is what you wanted to do as opposed to something different?

Rummelator52 karma

I raced downhill skiing in high school too, but I quit to focus on rowing after I realized that rowing could get me recruited to colleges

Full_Of_Win33 karma

What do you plan on doing after rowing is no longer an option for you?

Rummelator61 karma

I'm really curious about how fast I can run a Marathon, so I think that's on the post rowing calendar.

sHORNY32 karma

Now the Olympics are over does your lifestyle take a dramatic change i.e. your diet and training

Rummelator52 karma

I havr taken a break from rowing for a few weeks, and not worried about eating. Just unwinded since the final. Training will start up again in earnest in a few weeks more. I'm staying in some shape by running or hiking for the last month.

sandywich14326 karma

What's your favorite healthy thing to eat when you are training?

(I may or may not be making my grocery list at the moment)

Rummelator57 karma

I eat a lot of chobani yogurt! While living at the Olympic training center it was free in the dining hall, and I would fill my pockets after every meal.

sandywich14312 karma

Right on, Chobani is good. The real question then is: with fruit or plain?

Rummelator27 karma

Fruit! I do like the plain too though

alienware12 karma

What's your next main goal?

Rummelator36 karma

Get a job where I can keep training, and then win the spring National Selection Regatta! That's the goal at least

timmmmmm29 karma

Battle an angry shark with a paddle or paddle with a sedated shark?

Rummelator45 karma

I have no desire to fight an angry shark, so the second one

stephylove29 karma

What has been the greatest thing about being an Olympian?

Does the bronze medal get you all the ladies?

Rummelator73 karma

Apart from the competition, the greatest thing was all the cool free stuff we got! As a small market sport we don't get a lot of sponsors so when we get things, we enjoy it a lot! My girlfriend is the only girl my medal gets me

jkrjkrjkr11129 karma

How much sexual activity goes on at the Olympic Village?

Rummelator84 karma

A lot. Many Olympians are single, young, and when they're done with their events, looking to unwind and party. I am not single however, so I didn't partake

ghostkrashers22 karma

Has rowing ever gotten you laid? Stories?

RunningMoto29 karma

Have women just been throwing themselves at you since the podium/picture/reddit incident?

Rummelator86 karma

I've received a lot of sleazy messages and emails from women and men alike. I have a serious girlfriend though, so I just ignore them. I had to change my facebook privacy settings because I was getting a lot of attention right after the story surfaced. I have a serious girlfriend though so I just ignored them

Zoidinho21 karma

Why did you start rowing? When did you realize that you were an olympic level competitor?

Rummelator46 karma

I started rowing in 2001 at Pittsford Crew in Pittsford, NY. My mom signed me up for a summer rowing camp despite me not knowing what it was at the time. I liked it immediately and stuck with it! I didn't start to seriously think I could maybe make the Olympic team until competing at the under-23 world championships in 2008. I was doing well against fellow college rowers and though that if I stuck with it and kept improving that I would have a shot at making the team

windgasmuscle13 karma

A former McQuaid rower a few years younger though, if I am correct I think we had the same coach during our separate high-school careers.

Rummelator21 karma

We did! Richard Yochum was my high school coach

SnowGN11 karma

I live in Webster, right next to Pittsford. I'm jealous of Pittsforders because you live right next to the big rock quarry at the intersection of 5 Mile Line and Atlantic Rd. I'm a student geologist, and a lot of museum quality specimens have come out of there. Where did you go to high school/college?

Rummelator24 karma

Pitsford Mendon and then Harvard for undergrad

pestilence468798 karma

If you were in Hugh school from 2001-2005 I probably raced against you at nys championships a couple times then.

Rummelator15 karma

Yeah I graduated 2005

ThatGuyWithTheHat20 karma

Do people stop you on the street because they recognize you as "that boner guy"?

Rummelator34 karma

Hasn't happened yet

I3aisden20 karma

How much did Olympic training effect your High School/College Social life?

Rummelator44 karma

College life I think it helped because I had a good network of guys that I was friends with through the team. High School I was always doing rowing events during the summer so I missed out on a lot of fun things that normal high schoolers do. I had my share of fun though and enjoyed both.

ChocChipWaffles18 karma

Do the coxswains do physical exercise at all? What do they do to practice for their role?

Rummelator23 karma

They need to be 120lbs or under, so they workout to keep their weight down. They practice by calling the training session or coaching us on our technique when not racing.

freedup18 karma

What's your opinion of supplements like BCAA to help train, recover?

Rummelator36 karma

I'm not familiar with BCCA but I find that as long as you're getting enough of the right food from your meals, then an energy snack after working out is all I need to recover enough for the next workout. I do use energy drink mix during workouts to keep hydrated. When I'm really tired I'll take an ice bath which helps too

TheAmityvillain17 karma

You had to know this was coming... How do you feel about your boner fame? Did it annoy you that everyone claimed you were sporting a chubby or did you find it humorous?

Rummelator38 karma

I thought it was funny and tried not to be embarrassed about it. My friends thought it was hilarious, only my girlfriend wasn't too happy about it

kidneyguy23 karma

I like the way you took it. Take it in stride. Yikes, that sounds dirty. What about having Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert comment on it?

Rummelator38 karma

They are so funny I couldn't help but laugh my ass off. When I heard Colbert did a segment on it my first thought was "yes, this is gonna be hilarious"

Casemander16 karma

Hello Henrik, first of all congratulations! How was the selection process? I know that different countries focus on different boats: you go to the selection camp for the 4-, for example, and if you don't make that then you try for the 8+ or the 2-. Was the 4- where you wanted to be? Also, how is the competition for the pair? Is it really the least popular boat?

Rummelator25 karma

This year the priority was the 4 then the 8 then the pair in the sweep events. Because it was the priority boat, ithe 4 was the one I wanted to row in. The last year has been really stressful and not fun at all. Racing your friends for a spot on the Olympic team is not fun at all. It really sucks when your close friends get cut

jkrjkrjkr11115 karma

What is your favorite movie?

Rummelator67 karma

Shawshank redemption

thombudsman14 karma

What's the farthest you've rowed in one day?

Rummelator20 karma

I'm not sure the exact number but we average about 25 miles a day during peak volume and the most I've done isn't far above that

thombudsman12 karma

How many calories do you burn on those trips?

Rummelator26 karma

I'm not sure of the calorie count, but I would guess around 7000 a day? I've heard that number tossed around but I don't know for sure.

BushLeagueScience13 karma

Which meme was your favorite?

Rummelator33 karma

The "always happy to see you" one. That gave me a good laugh

forever-a-clone13 karma

Any advice for a cox?

Rummelator21 karma

Don't sugar coat, tell it like it is and tell them how they can fix whatever they're doing

apostrophie11 karma

What was your favorite part of the experience? Are you going to participate in Rio '16?

Rummelator26 karma

The plan is to try to make it to Rio. I have to make it again, which isn't quaranteed by any stretch. The highlight was definitely the closing ceremonies. It was pretty unreal being front and center for that

jamesfog10 karma

Who is your favorite rower, your idol?

Rummelator29 karma

Olympic gold medalist Bryan Volpenhein is a really cool guy, currently coaching the US lightweights. I wouldn't call him my idol but I study his rowing to try to improve. He's a mean chef too!

hypem9 karma

Are you good at any other sports? :)

Rummelator18 karma

I consider myself a good skier but only do it recreationally after quitting the high school downhill team to focus on rowing

jamesfog8 karma

What is the history behind your name? What nationalities are you?

Rummelator25 karma

I was born in Denmark and lived there for the first 9 years of my life. Henrik is a Danish name and was the only one both my parents could agree on when I was born. My last name is originally German, though I don't know the story behind it

Rarehero21 karma

'Rummel' can be a short form of old Germanic names like 'Rumwalt' and therefore refer to one of your early ancestors. It could also refer to an early place of origin of your family, e.g. Rummelsberg. There's also the Middle High German verb 'rummeln', which means to rumble, to roister, to be boisterous. The only modern use I'm aware of is as another word for 'Kirmes' (fair). So if you want to visit a fair with German friends, you could say 'Lasst uns auf den Rummel gehen!'.

P.S.: 'Henrik' is a Scandinavian or Low German form of 'Heinrich', which is a combination of the Old High German words 'heima' (home, homestead) and 'rihhi' (reign, lordship). So 'Henrik' could be translated as 'lord of the homestead' (taking into account that at the time this name was created a 'home' was more than just an apartment or a small house).

Rummelator3 karma

Woah thanks man, I never knew that. You are a rare hero

Pollitin8 karma

The feeling of even hearing "you are going to the Olympics" must be overwhelming. When they told you that you were going, how did you felt?

Do you train all day? Was it hard managing training and studying?

I love sports. The event that was MINE was Triple jump. I'm afraid things haven't gone the way I hoped. One of my DREAMS would be to participate at the Olympics. It is sad that here in Puerto Rico they encourage sports so little.

Rummelator7 karma

It was a relief because I had worked so hard for it and to know that I was going was a validation of all the work. However we still had a job to do and wanted to win a medal so we didn't do any celebrating. Managing training and studying was tough but my college coaches were very accommodating so I was able to manage. Good luck!

weeners238 karma

I'm a novice rower and I'm about to do my first 6k at a regatta. any tips for beginners you could drop?

Rummelator27 karma

Get to the last 2k in decent shape and then really attack it! Don't try doing too much too early or it will cost you

m2309a36 karma

As a former HVL member, and not even a very good one, I have to ask about the attitude Olympic openweight rowers have for Olympic lightweight rowers. Do you look down on them like I imagine Olympic gymnasts look down on Olympic rhythmic gymnasts?

Rummelator11 karma

We make fun of them, but respect them because they put in just as much work as we do.

runklesaurus6 karma

Ever read "The Amateurs" by David Halberstam? I figured it's pretty true to life but how does your training/day-to-day compare?

Rummelator9 karma

I did but it was a long time ago and to be honest I don't remember much of it

wolfbaden66 karma

Can you describe a typical workout for a rower? I've always marveled at a rower's build and I'm wondering what I could do to achieve something like that.

Rummelator18 karma

We do a lot of endurance training, so most of our work is done in the 150-170 heart rate zone. We also do weight lifting twice a week, mostly focusing on circuit type lifts with 8-30 reps depending on the exercise. Depending on the time of year we will do racing a couple times a week at different distances anywhere from 250m to 12km

mustnt_wear_pants6 karma

Do you see yourself staying professionally involved in rowing after you retire, or do you think you'll make full use of that Harvard education?

Favorite erg workout?

Rummelator18 karma

I don't think I will work in rowing when I'm done, but anything is possible. I with try to find a job this fall and see what happens. My favorite erg workout is probably short race pieces, like when we do 1 minute tests. It's always fun to see how hard you can pull!

CookieTard6 karma

How well (if at all) do you know Greg Searle? He's a family friend of mine. Sorry it's not really a question, I was just interested to see if you knew him personally.

Rummelator7 karma

I never met him, though I've seen his race from the 1992 Olympics many times. What a sprint!

lmwhensley5 karma

As a high school rower looking to get my 2K down as close as I can to 6:30 this year, have any advice? I need to drop about 15 seconds.

Rummelator10 karma

Do long distance pieces, 10k+, at HR 150-165

lightsweeps4 karma

What is your favorite boat brand (Hudson, Empacher, etc)? Bonus points if you break it down for what size boat per brand.

Rummelator13 karma

Empacher 4 and 8. I haven't rowed an empacher pair since college, so my favorite pair would be either a fillippi or a sykes

dgs554 karma

What is your overall attitude when rowing or talking about rowing? I've rowed for 5 years and I know that some of the better rowers tend to be a bit cocky and just people who aren't the nicest if you catch my drift. What has been your attitude at rowing? I've always seen it as something I'd rather enjoy doing than something I need to be overly aggressive about to get in the right boat. I've met two olympians in my time, and the one who won gold in 2004, is probably the worst I've met.

Rummelator17 karma

You get out what you put into it, and if you want to compete, there are places that will provide that. Similarly, if you just want a workout you can do that too. I don't think elite rowers are meaner than other rowers, but there is always the occasional jerk. I like rowing, but I love racing and I wouldn't be rowing if I couldn't race

Eiregoose3 karma

How much of an investment in your rowing have you made, monetary wise? It takes a fair old chunk of cash to participate in before you get into any kind of scholarships etc.

Rummelator5 karma

High school rowing camps were expensive but since then most things have been paid for me by harvard rowing or USRowing.

echopath3 karma

After your rowing career ends, what do you hope to do or what kind of profession do you see yourself going into?

Rummelator12 karma

I'm still figuring out what profession I want to go into, but I studied applied math in college and would like to be able to use that math. I hope to get a job where I can make some money, gain experience and keep training

Josh-K2 karma

First of all thanks for taking the time to do this AmA. Some questions I have are:

  • When did you start rowing?

  • When did you start competitively rowing?

  • What do you think you will do after you are done with competitively rowing?

Again thanks for doing the AmA!

Rummelator7 karma

Started rowing 2001 and would say I was competitively rowing a year later. When I'm done I will try to get a job, start a family and ski whenever I can

davayy2 karma


Rummelator14 karma

My hands don't really get blisters anymore. They have permanent callouses on them but not nearly as bad as they were in highschool