Lisa Roman will be pulling for Canada, literally, from April 15 to 17.
The Langley resident was among the 28 athletes named by Rowing Canada Aviron to compete for Canada at the 2016 World Rowing Cup.
Roman and her Canadian teammates will be competing in eight events at the first World Rowing Cup event of 2016, held in Varese, Italy.
The team is highlighted by six crews, including the 2015 bronze medal women’s eight (which includes Roman), that has already qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Roman started rowing in 2008 with the University of the Fraser Valley under the guidance of coach Liz Chisholm.
She now rows with the UWO Rowing Club, led by coach John Keogh.
A competitive skater for 14 years and a dancer for eight years, Roman is now excelling in rowing, and had a fine 2015 along the water.
Last year, she was part of Canada’s W8+ squad that won bronze at the world rowing championships in Aiguebelette, France.
She and her teammates also took top spot at a World Rowing Cup event in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Now, she’s about to enter a very busy 2016 season.
“Canadian rowers are heading into an intense period of competition with the Olympic and Paralympic Games quickly approaching,” said Peter Cookson, high performance director with Rowing Canada Aviron.
“These athletes have proven time and again their determination and commitment to excellence. The World Cups will be a perfect opportunity for them to demonstrate the hard work they have put in during the winter, and to work on the things that will lead to success in Rio in a few months time.”
After the competition in Italy, the Canadian team will compete in Lucerne, Switzerland at World Rowing Cup II from May 27 to 29.
The final World Cup will be held from June 17 to 19 in Poznan, Poland. Athletes competing at each of the regattas will be announced prior to each event.
For Roman and the women’s eight, the World Rowing Cup presents the first opportunity to get back on the start line after their bronze medal performance at the 2015 world rowing championships.
“There’s tough competition ahead for us against all crews but we are excited to race,” said Ashley Brzozowicz, women’s eight. “We learned a lot last season in each of our races and we’re looking to continue improving through the spring. Especially in an Olympic season, it’s really important for us to start strong and keep the momentum going to the Games.”
Canada qualified six boats for the Olympics and one for the Paralympic Games at the world championships in September 2015.
RCA, alongside the Canadian Olympic Committee, will announce the team of athletes competing at the Rio 2016 Olympics on Tuesday, June 28 in Toronto.
The World Rowing Cup is an annual series of three international regattas held in the spring.