Flame Bearers: Keeping the Fire Burning

Flame Bearers: Keeping the Fire Burning spotlights women Olympians and Paralympians who sought to compete in the Tokyo Summer or Beijing Winter Olympi…
Nov 12th, 2020 | 27:31

Ida Jacobsen (Denmark): Rowing & Adjusting to the Pandemic

While most know Danish Olympic Rower, Ida Jacobsen for her prowess on the water, she's also a political science junkie and cheese expert (much to the chagrin of her boyfriend, Samir). Ida decided she was going to compete in the Olympics shortly after her first time rowing 12 years ago. Therefore, the current postponement of the Tokyo Games really made Ida question her identity and sources of motivation. This episode explores how Ida has dealt with the postponement of the Olympic Games, and offers tips for all listeners on how we can more effectively adapt in this uncertain time. Experts interviewed include Nancy Lieberman (1980 USA Basketball Olympic Team Member that did not compete because of USA boycott; Silver Medalist, 1976 Games), Samir (Ida's boyfriend), Mette (Ida's mother), Anne Larsen (Danish National Teammate), Emmy-Lou Nicolaï (Cheese expert), and Dr. Kimberlyn Leary (Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Associate Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School; Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health). Audio clip from 'Olympics - 1980 Moscow - US Athletes In Crisis - Carter Boycotts imasportsphile.com'
On today’s episode of the Flame Bearers podcast, we are joined by Ida Jacobsen. Ida has been a rower for the Danish national team for two years, though she has been rowing for twelve years. Her mother says Ida found her passion for rowing completely on her own account, and her talent quickly became apparent. She is focused and determined in many areas in her life, such as sport, academics, creativity and even the art of slicing cheese (as explained by cheese expert Emmy-Lou Nicolaï). After competing in the World Rowing Junior Championship, Ida had an offer to row for the University of Southern California. This sparked her love for studying abroad and after her 4 years at USC, she rowed at Cambridge. Friend and teammate Anne Larson speaks admirably of Ida’s tendency to encourage and support others. Ida recalls the mixed emotions she felt regarding the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Initially seeing the extra time to be an opportunity to get even better at her sport, she quickly began to feel burnt out and exhausted. To better contextualize what Ida was experiencing, we hear from Nancy Lieberman, who, chosen to compete in the Moscow Olympics of 1980, never got the opportunity due to the U.S.A.’s boycott of the event. Ida and Nancy’s descriptions help us non-athletes understand how this time may feel for them. In regards to the pandemic, Ida shares her inspiring perspective of focusing on what you can do to better yourself in the present moment rather than worrying about things that are out of your control. Her boyfriend Samir weighs in on how the extra time and space has allowed Ida to reflect on her sources of motivation. Dr. Kim Leary articulates the instability everyone, regardless of their roles, has been exposed to via the pandemic. It is a challenge for anyone to relearn things you have already been doing, but Dr. Leary offers some concrete action steps we can all take to adapt to these unusual times. She believes there will be a place for everyone in the recovery that will come. Ida leaves us with a piece of her own advice, to use this time as an opportunity to reflect and to not hesitate in devoting energy into bettering ourselves however we can. Links: Learn more about Ida Jacobsen. Learn more about the Flame Bearers podcast.