“Oh Canada, my home and native land…” he sang to himself while secretly feeling the gold medal and in his pocket.
STAGE 1: Port Townsend to Victoria
Team name: Team For Sparta
Team Captain: Adam Kreek
Total crew: 2
Race vessel: Whitehall Spirit rowing boat
Big spending sponsor: Whitehall Spirit Rowing Boats
There are essentially two roads for Olympic gold medalists. They have the moment on the podium, when an entire nation stands rapt in celebration of the Olympian’s lifelong pursuit that culminated in being the best in the world- then what?
Some spiral inward from the desperate realization of the fleeting nature of fame. They cling to the echos of that glory moment for far too long- getting pizza delivered just to wear their gold medal to the door, attempting to stand slightly higher than the people to their left and right whenever they sing “Oh Canada” just to get a quick podium fix.
The better adjusted continue to strive and seek out challenges, leveraging their ability and fame into lucrative business and endorsement deals. Adam Kreek of Team For Sparta is certainly one of these. Canada’s gold medal rower from 2008 secured a deal with Victoria’s Whitehall Spirit Rowboats to row the entire first portion of the first R2AK. While the full scope of the deal is unknown, it is rumored that Whitehall paid the entire entry fee for Adam and his crew- yep, the whole $70. US funds. We agree: it is hard to believe, but when seven years ago you were the best in the world and you agree to do the first 40 miles of a 750 mile race- apparently you can command mid-two figure deals.
When Team For Sparta aren’t busy smugly nodding to each other about their mad negotiating skills, they are rowing across oceans, creating biodiesel out of recycled waste oil, advocating for clean air, and running the circuit as motivational speakers. Slackers.
Welcome aboard Spartans, we’ll get the podium warmed up for you, whether you sing or not is up to you.