By Adrian Cheung
The Ryerson Rams rowing team won its first Ontario University Athletics (OUA) gold medal on Saturday, but the two-man team composed of Philippe Roy and Matt Buie were more satisfied than anything else.
“We’ve just put in our hours in training and it ended up with a successful win at the end. So it was very satisfying and exciting because we got first place,” Roy said.
The Roy and Buie tandem had only been together for two years outside of school but they stood strong to beat out competition from traditional rowing powerhouses such as Brock, Western and Queen’s. All the more audacious too, was that the team decided to conserve energy during their heats and go full force in the finals.
Buie, a third-year architecture student, said, “There were no illusions that this race was going to be easy. But we didn’t have any doubt in our minds we could win.”
It’s certain that Roy and Buie’s historic win also paves the way for a renewal in Ryerson’s rowing team. Most of the team is made up of novices – members who had no prior experience in the sport. But head coach Dominic Kahn believes that the underdog status is something the team has used to its advantage.
“Our novices actually get a taste of what [competition] is like. And they now get to back that taste up with the athleticism and the desire. And you put some hard work into it and you see the results,” Kahn said.