Langley’s Kristin Bauder (front) and Victoria’s Rosie DeBoef captured the bronze medal in the women’s pairs 2000m event at last month’s Pan American Games in Toronto. Bauder is an alternate for the Canadian senior women's rowing team which is in France for next week's world rowing championships.

Langley’s Kristin Bauder (front) and Victoria’s Rosie DeBoef captured the bronze medal in the women’s pairs 2000m event at last month’s Pan American Games in Toronto. Bauder is an alternate for the Canadian senior women's rowing team which is in France for next week's world rowing championships.

‘Surreal’ time for Bauder at Toronto Pan Am Games

Langley woman with Canadian senior national rowing team at world championships in France

  • Aug. 25, 2015 12:00 p.m.

It was a different feeling for Kristen Bauder.

With most major competitions held in Europe, Bauder and her Canadian teammates are accustomed to having primarily just family cheering them on.

But last month’s Pan American championships were a whole different story.

With the competition being hosted by Toronto, the support for Canadian athletes reached a whole new level.

“It was pretty surreal to be able to (compete) in such a hyped-up event in Canada,” Bauder admitted in a phone interview with the Times earlier this month from London, Ont.

Bauder has primarily been in London since January 2013 as that is the Canadian national team’s main training centre.

“You have families that will go over and cheer, but to have people you don’t even know cheering you on and rooting for Canada, it was crazy,” Bauder said about competing in her home country.

“The amount of noise there was when we were going down the course, there was nothing I have ever heard like it. It was amazing.”

Bauder, a 26-year-old from Victoria, rewarded the home crowd by teaming with Victoria’s Rosie DeBoef to capture the bronze medal in the women’s pairs 2000m event.

“We knew there would be some competition (for a podium finish),” Bauder said about finishing third.

“It was definitely a good stepping stone to where we want to be … a good way to get some more race under your belt.”

Both Bauder and DeBoef have been named women’s sweep alternates for the Canadian women’s national eights team.

The team — which also features Langley’s Lisa Roman — is in Europe for the 2015 world rowing championships.

The championships are being held in Aiguebelette, France and run Aug. 30 to Sept. 6. The meet serves as a qualifier for next summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Bauder, who had a background in canoe/kayak events while in high school at R.E. Mountain and then volleyball at Simon Fraser University, says her pursuit of competing in the Olympics is not without its challenges.

“I do think the biggest challenge for me is being away from family and friends for extended periods of time,” she said, citing the example of her cousin’s wedding earlier this month. Bauder flew home on Friday night and was back in London by Sunday evening.

But in the end, the sacrifices are worth the potential reward.