Steven Pyzik is making a name for himself in the world of rowing
HEIGHTS – Dearborn Heights native Steven Pyzik is competing in the inaugural World Rowing Indoor Championships in Alexandria, Va., Feb. 17 and 18.
Pyzik, who graduated from Novi Detroit Catholic Central High School in 2010, is an elite athlete at the Oklahoma City National High Performance Center on the Oklahoma River, one of only a few nationally recognized training facilities for Olympic hopefuls in rowing, canoe and kayak.
“My goal is to row in the United States eight-man boat at the 2020 Olympics, and performing well at the World Rowing Indoor Championships will help me get an invite to the USRowing selection camp,” Pyzik said.
“Anyone who has decided to pursue a passion at this level, knows you have to give up a lot, time with family, and even a social life, to be successful. So, to finally get to compete at this level is very exciting.”
After high school, Pyzik attended Michigan State University where he joined the university’s club rowing program without any prior experience and became a three-year member of the Men’s 1st Varsity 8+.
After stints at boat clubs in Philadelphia and Boston, Pyzik accepted an opportunity to train at the Oklahoma City National High Performance Center under head coach Reilly Dampeer.
“The erg has long been more than a winter training-tool,” Dampeer said. “An athlete’s ability to perform well on an erg is used by coaches as an example of how well an athlete will do on the water.”
“Steven has the fastest 6k erg time in his division at the National High Performance Center and he continues to improve,” said Dampeer of the simulated rowing test.
“Getting into rowing was a chance happening, and to this day I still contemplate what exactly gave me that initial impulse to try,” Pyzik said. “If you had asked me back then whether I would still be doing this all this time later, I would have called you absolutely crazy, but now I can’t imagine doing anything else.”