Elena von Mueller

Club CUBC Women

Year of Birth 2001

Hometown Essen, Germany

Nationality German

College Jesus

Undergrad/Graduate Undergraduate

Year 2nd

What are you studying? Engineering What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans for after? I am currently doing general engineering before specialising next year. What I actually want to study is aerospace engineering.

Future ambitions? To win the Boat Race!

How do you balance rowing and academic life? It’s most important to get enough sleep. Of course you also need to make sure you hand work in at the right time, complete projects as early as possible, etc. But honestly, I think rowing helps a lot. Coming off the water in the morning with a clear head is one of the best ways for me to have a productive day. And a lot of my teammates have done similar courses in previous years, so can help me out whenever there is something I have trouble with.

When did you start rowing, and why? My first rowing outing was on my 12th birthday. At the time, we were living close to a lake, and my entire family were members of the local rowing club. On that day, the club had organised a fun day trip in big boats, and everyone wanted to go. Not wanting to stay home alone, I decided to join. Because I couldn’t row, they decided to let me be the cox’s assistant, which meant I sat in the lap of the cox during the whole outing. I was in a boat with all the other kids, and had such a good time that I signed up for rowing that same day.

What was your first club? Ruderklub am Baldeneysee.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Cambridge? My crewmates.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? For the first couple of years, I only rowed very little. Going to training was more like an opportunity to see friends and have some fun after school. I really started rowing when I was 14, as a junior. Apart from the 2019 season which I sat out due to injury, I have been rowing competitively ever since. My biggest achievement was winning the JW4- at the Baltic Cup 2018.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? No.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? I always listen to ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’, by Coolio. I am not entirely sure how I picked it up, but it just stuck over the years.

Your sporting idol? The O’Donovan Brothers (Gary and Paul). And Mareike Adams, who raced the W1x for Germany at Rio 2016. We were training on the same lake when I was younger, and she was always a big idol.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? I like to divide up the remaining distance in my head, and focus on the basics for a couple of strokes. I think back to why we row, remember all the good sessions we have had in the past. And if all that does not work, we stop the boat, take a deep breath, and start again.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? I love hiking, although I do it far too little.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? I always aim to have a big smile on my face.