Passion drives Michigan’s Tomek to third Olympics

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Three-time Olympian Ellen Tomek says the reason she has been able to continue to compete at such a high level is simple: She just loves rowing.

“Honestly, I really enjoy what I do,” she said. “And I find that I’m always learning, always striving to be a little bit better, so I can just keep coming back every day.”

The native of Flushing, near Flint, and University of Michigan graduate competed in Beijing in 2008 and Rio in 2016 and has now qualified to go to Tokyo.

She previously raced in double sculls, but she’s on the quadruple sculls team this time around.

“What I’m really excited about (is) it’s a much faster race, so the pain will be over about a minute quicker,” she joked. “I think I was a little nervous at first. You know, four people is four personalities trying to mesh, but we have a really good group and that hasn’t been an issue at all.”

Above, Tomek explains her role in the team and her approach to competition.

This will be Tomek’s final Olympics, she said.

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