This article was last updated on July 11, 2022
Ilse Paulis retires from rowing following her Olympic gold and bronze.
According to Ilse Paulis, the choice to stop was not an easy one. My life is not complete without rowing. Even though I already miss it, I know it’s the correct decision.
One of her favourite memories is winning the gold in the light double sculls at the 2016 Olympic Games with Maaike Head. Then, we made the most of each other and worked incredibly hard to achieve it. “There in Rio, everything came together.”
In 2021, Paulis likewise appeared to be headed for the Olympic gold medal, but this time with Marieke Keijser. While in the lead for the majority of the race, the pair strained as they got closer to the line. Following a photo finish, Paulis and Keijser were forced to accept bronze.
Her medical studies had to wait another year because the Tokyo Olympics were postponed because of the corona pandemic. Paulis says, “I intended to make up for that delay and finish it in one go.
This summer, she will receive her medical degree and begin her career. “Unfortunately, that can not really be linked with top sport, and neither would I want to. I can’t wait to put all of my passion and hard work into my medical career.”
She will no longer be able to row at the highest level as a result, but she won’t give up entirely. On the sand and in the sea, you keep running into me. With the exception of when it rains, because I no longer play sports in the rain. “