Martin Barakso


Year of Birth 1994

Hometown Nanaimo, BC

Nationality Canadian

College Kellogg College

Undergrad/Graduate Masters

Year 1st

What are you studying? MSc in Latin American Studies

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? The most interesting part of my course is the relevance of Latin America’s challenges to the rest of the world. The course has given me a new perspective for analysing the global challenges we face.

Future ambitions? I would like to do an MBA after the MSc, and then work in the mining sector with a focus on sustainable and equitable development in Latin America.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? The great thing about rowing is all of the skills you develop off the water. After fourteen years of rowing, I have engrained strong time-management skills to balance forty hours of academic work and forty hours of training each week.

When did you start rowing, and why? I started rowing when I was twelve because my father signed me up and told me that I would be good at it. I am glad he did.

What was your first club? Nanaimo Rowing Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Oxford? My favourite part of rowing for Oxford is the history associated with the Boat Race. It is one of the world’s most unique sporting events, and it is humbling to follow in the footsteps of so many distinguished athletes.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I rowed on the Canadian junior, U23, and senior team for ten years. I have raced at seven world championships, the Pan-American Games, and three world cups. I also rowed at Princeton for four years and was team captain. My biggest achievement was winning a bronze medal at world cup II behind the German and British eights.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? No, I have not.

Your favourite race so far? My favourite race was winning the 2014 U23 world championships and getting to sing the Canadian anthem on the podium.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? I do not have any superstitions, I believe that your success will be dictated by how hard you worked in the lead up to the race.

Your sporting idol? Jake Wetzel.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? Constantine Louloudis.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? You have to embrace the pain. The more your body hurts during a workout, the faster you will be afterwards.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? Scuba diving, ice fishing, cycling, bird watching.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? We have a great team culture - everyone is always keeping in touch with each other and keeping each other motivated. We have a high level of trust between everyone, and we all know that everyone is pushing themselves each day. The challenges associated with the lockdown have made us stronger, and we have maintained a fiercely competitive atmosphere despite being apart.