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JED ALTSCHWAGER IS A 2-TIME WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SILVER MEDALIST AND HAS BEEN A NATIONAL PARA ROWING REPRESENTATIVE FOR AUSTRALIA SINCE 2018. JED IS BASED IN ADELAIDE AND IS TARGETING NATIONAL TEAM SELECTION FOR THE TOKYO PARALYMPIC TEAM.
WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE YOUR SPORT?
Growing up surfing I’ve always loved the water, so when I came to choosing a para sport it just felt right.
WHEN DID YOU FULLY COMMIT TO TARGETING THE OLYMPICS?
I joined Torrens Rowing Club in May of 2017, I set myself the task of getting on the podium at Nationals 2018. I placed 2nd that year and made the Australian team in the PR3 men’s Pair, from that point my view widened and I knew anything was possible.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE PERFORMANCE, AND WHY?
Winning the PR3 Men’s Pair with Will Smith in Italy last year. It felt like an outer body experience, we were in control from the start. I can’t even come up with words to explain the row, it was just unreal.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR TOUGHEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE HAD TO FACE IN YOUR SPORT, AND WHAT DID IT TEACH YOU?
Apart from dealing with injuries and sickness. I would have to say being and elite athlete and raising a small family hand in hand would be the most challenging part. Everything can have an effect on your performance both internally and externally from the sport, things like spending time away from Jess and the kids it tough. But needing to put rowing first before anyone else is probably the hardest. But their support never wavers and as a family unit we understand the bigger picture.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU? WHAT KEEPS YOU GETTING UP EVERY MORNING?
Its really started when I lost my leg 4 years ago I wanted to see just how far I can push myself. This started with learning to walk and I still carry this through to now as my biggest motivation.
WHAT ARE FIVE OF YOUR FAVOURITE SONGS TO GET YOU IN THE ZONE?
Beds are burning - Midnight Oil
Witches - Black bird raum
Bogan Pride - Bad Dreams
Harvester of Sorrow - Metallica
Bro Hymn - Pennywise
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF YOUR SPORT? INTERESTS? CAREER?
I love playing music and camping, none of which I get much time to do now! Ha.
I also enjoy sharing my story, I’ve had the opportunity to speak at a few schools and it’s something I’m looking to develop and do more of.