RSAWEB has a new Team rider, Rory van Zyl. For those of you who dont know, Team RSAWEB is an extreme team of athletes, who participate in their various sports at a very high level while still holding down a day job! So our team includes extreme athletes who love to compete, but its not their full time profession.
So who is Rory then? I interviewed him the other day after a paddling session in Cape Town:
Rob: What sports do you do? Which ones do you focus on?
Rory: Canoeing, Surfski, Mountainbiking, MotoX, Swimminng, Running. At the moment I am focusing on canoeing, mainly flatwater and I do all the major river marathons around SA. Got the Fish river marathon this week then will focus on the Cape Town Surfski season and Dusi in Jan08. I also Enjoy mountain biking, running and swimming for cross training. MotoX is just for adrenaline.
Rob: What’s your day job?
Rory: I am a remote sensing specialist. This involves making maps from satellite and aerial imagery, interpreting the imagery, creating digital elevation models and 3D city models for the wireless telecoms industry.
Rob: What sporting highlight are you most proud about?
Rory: When I was a little younger I obtained WP mountain biking colours for 3 years 1998 – 2000. I also got a 2nd overall in SA champs in 1999. I competed for both the Canondale and Giant Pro Mountainbike teams during that period and am just getting back into the sport now after a 5 year break. On the canoing front I have just got a 2nd at the Tugela canoe marathon 2007 .
Rob: Wow, thats pretty impressive, Why did you never choose sport as a career?
Rory: To be honest, I did not think that I could make a comfortable living off it. There was not much backing from private sector when I was competing back then, and the sports I compete in are not as high profile as the larger team sports in South Africa.
Rob: Im sure you have some hero’s, which athlete inspires you and why?
Rory: Jan Ullrich has always been a cycling hero of mine- he has massive massive quads and is a TT machine. Hank McGregor – He totally dominates in all paddling disciplines and is great for SA Paddling. Michael Rassmusen – He’s a Skinny bugger but can climb hills like no one else. Grant Langston – SA motoX rider making it big on the US and European circuits. He’s the king of BIG AIR.
Rob: Name your poison?
Rory: ICE COLD HANSA
Rob: Why do you love the SA extreme sports scene?
Rory: There is just so much you can do here. The summer is perfect for wind sports, winters perfect for rivers etc. Loads of interest in an active life style. Sport also lets you see so many beautiful places!
Rob: The real question, why do you paddle in a skinny hollowed out log when Man invented Jet Ski’s?
Rory: Its all about getting the shoulders in action and being out there on your own or with a bunch of mates enjoying nature. I know its corny but I love it.
Rob: Thanks Ror, good luck for the Fish river marathon this week.