Podcast: Meet the Three-Time Olympic Medalist Coaching the Rams Women’s Rowing Team

Michiel Bartman talks about the importance of the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta on the eve of its start and what the sport itself offers student-athletes.

On May 10 and 11, the storied Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta – which is the nation’s largest regular intercollegiate rowing event – will return to the region’s waterways.

Held annually on the Schuylkill River starting in 1953, the event will be held for the second consecutive year on Cooper River in Southern New Jersey. This event has special meaning for the University as Jefferson has been the title sponsor since 2019.

From a competitive standpoint, last year brought a historic performance from the Rams women’s rowing team. For the first time in program history, multiple boats medaled in a single Dad Vail.

Michiel Bartman
Coach Michiel Bartman helped lead the Netherlands to Olympic gold in the 1996 Atlanta games. He also earned silvers in the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics. (Photo by Christopher Dantonio)

In this episode of the Nexus Podcast, we talk to third-year head coach Michiel Bartman, whose curriculum vitae includes three Olympic medals as a competitor for the Netherlands, where he was born and raised.

Bartman speaks about his rowing history, the importance of the regatta for competitors as well as the University itself, and how the sport instills student-athletes with a competitive spirit and lifelong relationships.

“For us, the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta is the most important race of the season,” he says. “With the Jefferson in front of the title, it gives me extra boost. Obviously, we always want to do well, but it gives an extra meaning to the Dad Vail, for sure.”