Saturday, August 6th, Flushing's Ellen Tomek will officially be back in the Olympic games for her second time. In 2008, Tomek took 5th in the women's double sculls in Beijing. Nice, no doubt, but now she wants more.
Ellen Tomek has been here before. She knows what it's like to qualify for the Olympic games, and she'll never forget the first time she did back in 2008.
"I remember being so excited and sort of in awe of getting to go and compete on the world's highest stage. I don't think i was really prepared to go and like really throw down and try and win a medal."
However, after missing in 2012 due to several lingering injuries, and now making it 4 years later, she's more than ready.
"For me personally, i know i've had some good performances, that would put me in the top of the women's double field with my partner, but i haven't been able to showcase that. So, that sort of drives me,to get a chance to prove that we are of the caliber to win an Olympic medal, and really to win the Olympics."
Which means, despite several athletes dropping out of the games due to health concerns like the zika virus, nothing is going to stop the former Flint Powers Catholic graduate and her partner Meghan O'leary who have been racing together since the spring of 2013.
"I've been rowing for 14 years, training at the elite level for 10 years, and it's been 8 years trying to get back to the Olympics after Beijing. There is no PGA tour. So, i don't have anything to fall back on. So, to miss that because of a potential for an infection with a virus, it's not really enough for me."
Especially, when she knows this is it.
"My body just can't take the kind of beating that is necessary for elite training. So, in four years, hopefully i'm helping other young athletes get to where i am now. This trip, it's a business trip."
Tomek leaves for Houston a week from today for Team USA processing, and will be in Rio two days later.