Resident to Row in Rio Olympics

Courtesy  Hans Struznya, an Alameda resident, is competing in Rio for the U.S. rowing team.

Resident to Row in Rio Olympics


An Alameda resident will be competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio as a member of the U.S. rowing team.

Hans Struzyna, 27, is a member of the men’s eight U.S. rowing team that will compete in the Olympics starting this weekend. The team earned its trip to Rio by taking first place on May 24 at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland.

The crew of Sam Ojserkis, Austin Hack, Rob Munn, Mike DiSanto, Steve Kasprzyk, Glenn Ochal, Alex Karwoski, Sam Dommer and Struzyna — there are nine members on the men’s eight team — covered the Rotsee course in 5:29.16, 0.46 seconds ahead of Poland. The U.S. boat charged from third place after 500 meters to overtake the Poles, who had led until the final meters of the race.

When Struzyna is not training for the Olympics he is doing his day job. Struzyna is the vice president of business development at Innovation Properties Group, Inc. in San Francisco. 

Struzyna, a Kirkland, Wash. native, attended the University of Washington, where he also competed in rowing. As a member of the Huskie varsity men’s eight team, he was a two-time U23 National Team member (2009, 2010), and named to the Pac-10 all-conference men’s rowing team in 2009 and 2010. Four of the nine members of the men’s eight team (Ojserkis, Munn, Dommer and Struzyna) are University of Washington alums.

The team is mostly inexperienced at Olympic competition.  Kasprzyk and Ochal are the only members who competed in a prior Olympics. Both took part in the 2012 games in London. 

There are eight US rowing teams competing in Rio, including a women’s eight, men’s four and a men’s and women’s pair. The Olympic Games begins tomorrow with the opening ceremony.