She says Polis first wants to complete her medical studies. The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics caused an additional year delay. For example, the rower still had a year of internships ahead, she explains. “I would like to make up for this delay and complete it in one go.”
Marek Kejser and Els Paulis
ANP / HH
She admits that it was a tough choice, the decision to quit the top sport. Rowing is an important part of my life. It helped me a lot that the rowing union gave me the space to do this after the games. I’ll miss her, I’ve already done it, but I know it’s the right choice,” said Paulis, who would like to continue surgery or orthopedics.
“I’ll never forget that I saw this speed coach and I couldn’t believe we actually went that fast”
Together with Maaike Head, Paulis has had great success in light twin row boats. The highlight of the duo, who also became European champion (2016) and world champion (2014), was the Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. We took the best of each other and worked hard for it. . It all came together in Rio.”
Ilse Paulis (left) and Maaike Head.
ANP / HH
After Head leaves the boat, Paulis gets a new partner in the young and enthusiastic Mariki Keijser. On the Sea Forest Waterway, in Tokyo, Paulis was on his way to becoming the first Dutch rower to successfully defend an Olympic title, but Keijser made a fundamental mistake looking at the harbor. The damned pike cost the Dutch boat a certain amount of gold.
The race eventually earned a bronze, but it didn’t lessen the disappointment. Paulis prefers to think of another race with Keijser, in Sabaudia during the World Cup race in 2021. The duo set a world record: I’ll never forget that I saw this speed coach and couldn’t believe the fact that we were going so fast. Unfortunately, the world record no longer exists, but they can’t take that feeling away from me.”
No goodbye to rowing
Paulis says he won’t stop paddling completely. But with the top paddling, the future doctor says: “You keep meeting me on the beach and on the water. Except when it rains, because I no longer do sports in the rain.”
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