I don't want anyone else to miss the opportunity that I couldn't even try.

Martina Součková

Thanks to my rowing results, I was offered a scholarship at Ohio University at the end of high school, but I was still in a year where German was the second language at school. Another option was to study in Germany at the Sporthochschule in Cologne, but my alma mater ended up being UP Olomouc and I am incredibly grateful for that. However, I still carry a certain regret that I couldn't study in America.

The advantage of rowing is that it is one of the sports that can relatively easily get you into an American university, of course, it is necessary to have excellent academic and athletic results. Currently, some schools are tightening admission conditions, for example, by reducing time limits. Nevertheless, it is still easier for our elite rowers, although the competition is slightly higher for the guys.

The level of rowing at American universities is constantly increasing because twenty years ago, even average European rowers had the opportunity to study there. When I look at the composition of university teams today, I can find medalists from major world junior rowing events in each one. For example, Yale University has its first two eight-person rowing teams composed of Olympic medalists and adult or U23 world championship medalists.

The quality is also indicated by the fact that the best athletes in the US are at universities because, for example, last year, the US did not have any medals from the world championship, where university athletes were missing. Universities provide the best conditions, as demonstrated by the fact that foreign students return to their countries after school and do not have any problems returning to their national teams.

I wish I had someone who would have told me that I could learn English during my high school years because I had the performance and academic results. Today, young people have more opportunities, they can attend preparatory courses, for example. I don't want someone else to miss the opportunity that I couldn't even try.

I always tell young rowers that it is important to have someone who has an overview and can advise them on what to learn, what to prepare for, and what they don't have to be afraid of. And I can refer them to friends who have gone through all this.

If young people receive an education in the US, their future civilian life will be much easier. It often happens that successful rowers come back and donate money to our boathouse for operation or even for a new boat on their own initiative.