Werro brothers ready to give return on shareholders' investment

When Swiss brothers Lukas and Simon Werro picked up a 50 second penalty during their first run of the C2 heats in Rio on Monday there was a whole army of benefactors who let out a collective gulp.

Far more than many athletes in Rio, the journey of the Werro brothers to the Olympics was very much a collective effort.

“In canoeing in Switzerland it’s pretty tough, if you want to be in the professional level like everyone else,” Lukas Werro said.

“We have to be a bit inventive, so this year to fund one of our training camps we decided to try out crowd funding.

“It worked pretty well. In two weeks we had about 6000 francs together so we were really happy so many people supported us.”

So like any well-run public company, Simon  and Lukas had some concerns about how their shareholders might be affected by their problematic first run, which put them out of the top eleven qualifiers for the semi-finals.

But they also knew in a 12-team event, with the top 11 all going through to Thursday action, a solid second run should be able to get them through.

“After the first run we had a few anxious moments, but we were happy to put down a good second run,” Simon said.

“We knew if we put down a solid run we should be able to make it.”

The road to Rio for Simon and Lukas, funding aside, was not easy. They didn’t get the results they needed early, adding pressure as the Olympic cycle unfolded.

“It was a big goal for us for a couple of years,” Lukas said.

“We knew it was going to be pretty hard, because we didn’t get the spot at the World Championships, and we weren’t really the favourites at the Europeans, but we worked hard at it and we got through.”

Which was good news for their supporters, and while winning a medal would be the ultimate reward for those that supported them, there is one small group who are especially looking forward to the boys’ return.

“It worked fine, we have to say props to our helpers,” Simon said.

“We always give a little something to our donators, like a little surprise pack from Rio, or postcards, or Lucas is a cook, so sometimes he cooks up some stuff, like a cake.”

“We limited it for 10 guys, the cake, but I’m going to have to do the work after the Olympics,” Lukas laughed.

Could we be bold enough to suggest a golden sponge cake?

The boys are also aware this will be the last outing for the C2 at an Olympics level, but they are philosophical about the future.

“That’s a bit unfortunate for sure,” Simon said.

“But the Olympics is just one big goal in our career, and there are other things we can work towards like World Championships and World Cups.

“After the Olympics we will go back to K1 and C1 again , switch back to the old system.”

“But we won’t be going head-to-head,” Lukas quickly added.

“I’m going to race K1, Simon is going to race C1 – it’s rather partners in crime.”

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