Exclusive interview with the silver Olympic medalist and the world champion.
Emma, how did you become interested in kayak sprint?
My big sister started and then I started the year after. It was in 2005.
What kind of sports do you like except kayak sprint? Did you have idols in your childhood?
I played handball and swimming before and while I started kayaking. When I was 13-14 I decided to only focus on kayaking. My idols when I was a kid were Rene Poulsen and Kasper Bleibach. Both are from Maribo Kayakclub, same as I'm.
How long have you been paddling and racing?
I have been paddling since I was 9 and started racing at small competitions when I was 10-11.
Where do you think is the best canoe venue in the World? What is your favorite one?
Szeged is my favorite, but I liked Welland, Ontario very much.
How and where do you train during the winter period? Which place do you like most of all? Where and how do you train now?
In November we normally go to Florida, Clermont, for 4 weeks. December and January I'm at home and then off to a camp again in February. I like going to warm places like Florida. Now I’m at home in Denmark and we are doing a lot of ergometer and gym.
What shape are you in now?
Steady shape! Trying to keep up with running and ergometer. Overall I'm in good winter shape.
What does your ordinary day look like?
I wake up at 6.40 and eat breakfast. At 7.25 — bike, 11km to training, 8 till 10 training. At 12 I eat lunch, watch TV, take a nap, having a snack. 16 till 18 — training.
What qualities bring success in professional sport?
I think it's important to find the right balance between having fun and working hard. If you have that quality I believe you can get far.
How do you prepare mentally for a race? How do you stay focused and keep a cool head at the starting line?
I listen to music before the race, mostly Danish music, and I’m not thinking too much when I'm paddling to the starting line.
What plans do you have for the next year?
I haven’t thought about that yet.
Who do you think are your main rivals?
Every girl who is competing is my rival.
What are you ready to sacrifice for the sake of a gold Olympic medal?
I will not sacrifice anything, but I will make everything around me work so I have the best possibilities to do my work.
Emma Aastrand Jørgensen special for CanoeSport.