Misfortune seems to follow Jack Beaumont, but he is hoping to turn it around at the opening World Cup of the season this weekend.
Three years ago, the 24-year-old rower seriously doubted if he would walk again after a freak boat accident.
At a World Championships training camp in August 2015, Beaumont was in a double scull with Angus Groom when a men’s eight boat smashed into them, fracturing four vertebrae, breaking two ribs and tearing his hip flexor muscle.
It is a wonder that Beaumont ever returned to the water, let alone competed at the Rio Olympic Games the following summer at short notice, after a viral infection hit his teammate – and best mate – Graeme Thomas.
“It’s certainly been an eventful few years for me,” he admitted.
“It does keep things exciting which is a good thing, but like I said, I wouldn’t say no to a bit less drama.”
After his accident and the dash for Rio, Beaumont could hardly believe it at last year’s World Championships when Pete Lambert’s late injury meant he had to pull out of the men’s quad, being replaced by none other than Thomas.
And alongside John Collins and Jonny Walton, Beaumont and Thomas rowed superbly to clinch a silver medal – but there was a lingering hint of disappointment.
“We had been training so hard for the World Championships but then we had to contend with that,” reflected Beaumont.
“Coming into the World Championship we were very confident – we were going there to win gold.
“To have a last-minute substitution, it was a weird situation to get through. Saying that, it probably took the pressure off though.
“I joked after that Championships that it would be nice to have a relatively quiet time of things and for everything to be a bit more straightforward.
“But last year seems like a very long time ago now and it’s been a hard winter of training.
“At the World Cup, I’m going to be racing in the double scull with Angus Groom – hopefully we can just go about our business quietly, and the only story will be about our performances.”
Beaumont previously won bronze at the World Under-23 Championships in 2014 with Groom, and admitted he was looking forward to being in that combination again – albeit without any freak accidents.
Looking back at how Beaumont has progressed from his maiden Olympic Games appearance at Rio two years ago, it seems he has gained new perspective.
“At Rio I was one of the less experienced members of the team but now two years on, I’ve moved up,” he said.
“There are still things to learn though, and you only have to watch the likes of Moe Sbihi and Tom Ransley to see how to keep improving and gaining experience.
“We are every day a day closer to Tokyo.
“It does not seem like long since the Rio Olympics but we’re two years out now.
“This year is very important, and gives you a good steer of how things are looking, especially when the qualifying period opens.
“I’m not going to lie, there are some times where rowing is really tough and can be miserable, but as long as I’m enjoying it and still think I can keep improving, then I’ll keep pushing on.
“I love what I do.”