German sculler Stephan Riemekasten calls time on his rowing career. Riemekasten will spend more time with his young family, and continue his medical studies in pursuit of his lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. “My biggest weakness in rowing was always having too many other things going on, too many interests outside of the sport. And now, with a heavy heart – it’s time to be one and whole.”
“Sometimes in life you have to realise what is best for you and the people you love,” said Riemekasten via Instagram. After a poor 2k erg test at Dortmund and a fourth place finish on the water at German National Team Trials in December 2022, Riemekasten lost his spot on the national team. “When the German federation decided to cut me off, I first reacted like the stubborn person I am. I know I am fast enough to make the national team, I know I could PB again on the erg and fulfil the requirement to get a spot on the national team. But I am done fighting uphill battles, I don’t believe in the coaches that made that decision to lead me to a successful Olympic regatta – the only reason why I am still in it.”
Riemekasten burst onto the international rowing scene in 2010 by winning a world gold medal in the JM2x at Racice, Czech Republic. The following year he won a second world title in the JM1x at Dorney, Great Britian. At the Under 23 level Riemekasten won a silver in 2012 and a gold medal in 2015, both in the BM2x. In recent years Riemekasten has represented Germany at the 2018 European Rowing Champions, World Rowing Cups, and as an spare at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Riemekasten was a successful student athlete within the United States collegiate system. A Yale Freshmen in 2013-2014, Riemekasten returned to Germany in his sophmore to compete for a place in the Rio 2016 German Olympic Team. In 2017 as a senior he stroked the Yale first varsity to a national championships, an Eastern Sprints title and a 7-0 dual racing season that included a win over Harvard in the annual Yale-Harvard Regatta. His decision to leave Germany for the United States was prompted by his view of the German national system. “I knew I had to pack my backs and search for fast rowing elsewhere, namely the States. I am glad I did.”