Olympic connections

Two WAC Olympians reflect on their experience

By Mae Jacobson, Associate Editor

The WAC is no stranger to the sporting spirit of the Olympics, serving as home base for many medalists through the years. In anticipation of this summer’s Tokyo Games, set for July 23–August 8, we caught up with two of our most recent Olympians. Rowers Hans Struzyna and Ursula Grobler both competed in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Hans Struzyna

University of Washington alum Hans Struzyna entered the Olympic stage as a member of the U.S. men’s eight crew. After placing fourth in the finals, Hans needed a break. When the time came to begin training again, he no longer felt the pull. Instead, he’s living other parts of his life in a big way. He married his long-time girlfriend and has a successful real estate career in the Bay Area. “I definitely feel nostalgic when the Games come around,” Hans says. “But the richness of my relationships and the rewards of my career provide so much happiness.” Look him up at hansstruzyna.com.

Ursula Grobler

Ursula Grobler competed in lightweight double sculls for South Africa. “There was so much determination and hope all in one place,” she says. When she didn’t medal, it was tough. Despite deep disappointment, she healed in the most Olympian way possible. She climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. “It was something I had always dreamed of doing, and the sunsets [on the mountain] were the best in Africa,” she says. Ursula has since moved back to South Africa and gave birth to her first child earlier this year.

Read more about past WAC Olympians: wac.net/olympic-tradition

As published in the July/August 2021 issue of WAC Magazine

–Posted July 7, 2021

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