Rower Jeremiah Brown’s quick four-year climb to the Olympic podium is now captured in a new book.
The Cobourg, Ont., native recently released “The 4 Year Olympian,” a look back on how — just over 10 years ago — a 22-year-old with no rowing experience captured a silver medal with Team Canada in just four years.
“It’s not a Disney storyline, it’s quite raw at times,” said Brown who now resides in Peterborough. “And it really sort of chronicles the real struggles that I had getting to that moment with my teammates.
Brown described his life in Cobourg as an average hockey player who also dabbled in football.
But at age 22, with a three-year-old son, he was working at a bank when he felt something was missing.
“My initial motivation was I’ve got this lovely son, his mother and I are going to do the best job we can raising this boy and I’ve got to figure out how to make it work,” he said. “I need to earn money but I still want to go do this damn thing.”
That inspiration came in rowing after hanging out at his parents’ house watching the Canadian men’s eights team win gold in Beijing in 2008.
“Thinking, ‘man those guys look a lot like me when they are standing on the podium, tall and lean,'” Brown recalled. “I thought that’s going to be the sport, that’s what I’m going to do.”
So he planned his whole life around this goal.
He moved to Victoria, B.C., where the men’s national team trained and where he met one of the coaches.
“He said ‘what do you intend to do with the sport?’ I said I intend to go to the Olympics and win a gold medal. I thought he was going to laugh and he just said ‘well, we don’t have a lot of time, we better get to work.'”
And work he did, earning himself an invite in 2011 to the national rowing team.
He admits he was ready to quit daily, but still relied on the promise he made to himself.
And at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the men’s eights rowing team captured a silver medal.
“Crossing the finish line was waves of euphoria passing through my body just this incredible feeling of wow we are Olympic medalists,” he said.
Brown now lives in Peterborough and works with the Canadian Olympic Committee. He spent the last five years writing his book.
Brown’s official book signing will be held in Peterborough at Chapters on March 31.