July 30 – Rower follows Mother’s Footsteps



Hohnstein is son of 1984 Olympic rowing silver medallist Barbara Armbrust, serving on Team Alberta Mission staff

(Winnipeg, MB) Team Alberta’s Erik Hohnstein of Edmonton is competing at the Canada Games this week in Kenora, ON. And in the crowd watching and cheering will be his mother Barbara Armbrust, a 1984 Olympic silver medallist in Rowing.

Son Erik is following his mother’s footsteps, like many sports where sporting tradition transcends generations.

“I’m inspired by my mother’s accomplishments. She won a silver medal at the Olympics, and I always tell her that I want to do better than her and win the gold medal,” commented Erik on his arrival in Winnipeg prior to departing for Kenora.

Standing at 6 foot-9 inches, the tall 19-year old athlete from Edmonton has the physique and power to do well at the Canada Games this week.

“She helps me out quite a bit. She gives me advice about racing and the things that need to get done. My size is one of my biggest strengths as a rower, which gives me an advantage.”

“It’s really thrilling to see my son Erik compete at the Canada Games. I never had the opportunity myself to compete at this event, so I’m really excited for him to experience it and get a taste of a big Games event,” said Armbrust the 1985 Bronze medallist at the Rowing World Championships who volunteers her time and expertise at the Canada Games. “As many will know, it’s pretty difficult to tell your child bits of advice, but we talk about mental preparations and elements he needs to get done to perform at the highest level.”

And Armbrust will certainly be watching every move that her son makes as he hits the waters in Kenora. “I’ll definitely be there watching the rowing. Although I’m part of the mission staff, I’ll definitely have the mom hat as he races, and I’ll be a very proud parent!”

Hohnstein, who hails from Edmonton, AB, trains at the Calgary Rowing Club in Calgary under the leadership of Olympian Mark Laidlaw, and Lisa Kates. Laidlaw, who was a coxswain for the Canadian National Rowing Team earning a gold medal at 2008 World Rowing Championships in men’s coxed pair, a silver medal at 2009 World Rowing Championships in men’s eight, and silver medal at 2011 Pan American Games in men’s eight.

Hohnstein will compete this week in the Quadruple Sculls and Eight with coxswain race. In both races, he will be joined by teammate Karl Hare, brother of Rio 2016 Olympian and 2016 World Champion Nicole Hare, who he describes as his role model.


Aline Belzil competed at the 2015 World Junior Rowing Championships. Belzil is the younger sister of 2013 Canada Summer Games silver medallist Isabelle Belzil… Siblings Nicole and Justine Foster are both on the team.