Preparing For The Olympics – What It Means To Be A Professional Rower

Article by Guest Writer Jill Moffatt, Canadian Olympic Athlete, Fuelled by Cheeseburgers

Every month I cover topics that are important to both me, and Big Wheel Burger! We align on so many community initiatives so why not put them all in writing. I thought I would share what it was like to be an Olympian and the how important community support is. Thanks for reading along and joining me on my journey to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games!

Best Cheeseburgers Victoria

Hello Again!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful May and enjoying the warm weather! This month I’ll be giving the Big Wheel Burger community the inside scoop on my training so far this year, and what events I will be going to this summer with Rowing Canada. Grab some cheeseburgers and read about my summer training!


Winter Training

Fuelled by cheeseburgers

With the warm weather rolling in, it’s hard to imagine how we trained during those cold winter months. This last winter I spent my time training with the Canadian rowing team out of Shawnigan Lake, and Quamichan Lake (in Duncan). Shawnigan Lake is an incredible lake for training as it’s 7km long, and during the winter we are typically the only users of the lake. Being able to row for 7

km straight without stopping is great for improving our fitness and helps the time go by faster. Soon enough all the boaters will return to Shawnigan for the Summer and we’ll go back to Quamichan Lake, but for now we will enjoy it for as long as we can!

We spend much of the winter building our base for our competitive season – the summer time. Much of our time spent at Shawnigan was rowing in singles and doubles, and lots of long, slow, steady kilometers. When we weren’t on the water, we would be in the gym three times a week, lifting weights and building our strength. It was an awesome winter of training and I feel it’s prepared us really well as we transition into the summer.


To Europe we go!

During the summer months, Rowing Canada will travel to Europe to compete at the World Rowing Cups. These races act asa world series circuit for countries to try out different boats, see how fast their crews are, and practice for the end of year World Rowing Championships. This year we will be traveling to Italy for World Cup 2, and then heading over to Switzerland for World Cup 3. I’ve been to both venues before, and they are absolutely stunning. In addition, the food is quite incredible!

I’ll be competing in the lightweight women’s double with my Tokyo Olympic teammate, Jenny Casson. These World Cups will give us an idea of how we are tracking, and give us an opportunity to learn about the rest of the field. We last competed against the rest of the world in September, so we will get our first look at the rest of our competitors and see the improvements we’ve made.

In addition, Rowing Canada will be heading to the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta in England. This regatta is historic and a bucket list item for many rowers. At this event you don’t race as you typically would (with 6 boats across), but you race knockout style (only two boat races) with only one boat progressing forward until there is a winner. We will be entered in the double category and are looking forward to this huge event, and racing this kind of winner takes all style. It’ll be a different approach to racing, lots of chaos with the spectators, but a lot of fun.

Henley will take place between World Cup 2 and 3, which means a lot of racing within a month! After we finish World Cup 3, we will return to Duncan and try to fix any weaknesses and build upon our strengths.


Last but not least…

Our last stop this summer will be at the 2023 World Rowing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. This event occurs late August, and will also act as a qualifier for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. 

All of our training and racing this year will be targeting this qualification regatta. For my event, we need to place in the top 7 to secure Canada a spot at the Olympics. The pressure will be high but we are doing everything we can to get ready for this event, making sure we leave no stone unturned. I’ve been lucky to be on the course before, so being familiar with my surroundings will be an added bonus when we arrive.

It’ll be an exciting regatta for all the Canadian boats, and we are using each other every day to help one another prepare for qualification. My boat trains daily with our men’s single sculler (Tokyo Olympian Trevor Jones), and it’s been great to have another partner to compete against and work with.

You can catch our team training this summer (when we aren’t away racing) at the various lakes on the Island, and you can probably spot many of us out at the grocery stores!


How to follow racing or try rowing!

If you are interested in following racing, I advise that you follow Rowing Canada Aviron on Instagram or Facebook, or sign up their newsletter via their website.

If you are interested in trying the sport, Rowing Canada is hosting many come try rowing events on the Island this summer. Check out the information here to learn where you can try rowing in BC this summer. If you are in Victoria, the Victoria City Rowing Club, and the Gorge Narrows Rowing Clubs are hosting try rowing events on May 27-28th.

As always – thank you so much to Big Wheel Burger for supporting me on my Olympic journey! It would not be possible without the support from Big Wheel and the community. I can’t wait to keep you all posted on this summer. If you ever see me enjoying cheeseburgers at any Big Wheel location, be sure to come say hello!

Until next month!


My name is Jill Moffatt and I am an Olympic rower living in Shawnigan Lake, B.C. Big Wheel Burger is supporting me on my path to the Olympics and in exchange I’ll be sharing parts of that journey with you! Follow along each month for behind the scenes stories and other things outside of rowing that I am passionate about. Thanks for reading along and joining me on my journey to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games!