Leaving the heartache behind
Emma Twigg didn’t plan to be back at an Olympic Games after heartbreak in Rio. The experienced New Zealand women’s single sculler finished fourth for the second successive Games when seen as a likely medallist in 2016.
Then aged 29, Twigg left the sport and it seemed the 2014 world champion and five-time medallist at world championships would depart without making the podium at an Olympics.
But Twigg discovered she still had the desire and motivation to row at the highest level, returning two years later, and will now line up in the heats of her specialist event at the Tokyo Olympics today.
‘‘The first fourth place I got in London was a bitter pill to swallow
. . . but it provided some motivation to remedy that in Rio,’’ Twigg told the Outsports podcast Five Rings To Rule Them All recently.
‘‘To go back to Rio and have the same result – it was heartbreaking. I knew that I was worth more than that result.
‘‘But I also had experienced these amazing things and kind of thought ‘well, I’m not sure that I’ve got another four years to invest for a similar result’.
‘‘So I went away and experienced life and in that time realised that it was a real privilege to be doing what I was doing; that I could touch far more people as an elite athlete with a profile than I could sitting behind a desk. That was the motivation to return.’’