Columbus, Ohio - Former Ohio State rower Ilse Paulis and her lightweight sculls partner, Maaike Head, were named the Dutch Team of the Year last week at the Dutch Sports Federation's year-end gala.
Paulis and Head, who did not even qualify for the Olympics until a last chance regatta in May, won gold in the women's lightweight double sculls in Rio despite only being paired together for less than three months. The duo crossed the finish line with a time of 7:04.73 to edge Canada (7:05.88) by a narrow margin.
"I am very happy that we won," Paulis told a Dutch reporter after being named Team of the Year. "We weren't even qualified for Rio two months before the Games, but then we got the green light. And to top it off, we came away with gold."
Paulis and Head were paired together in May and clicked right away when they captured gold at the European Championships. They then proceeded to set a world record of 6:47.69 in June at the World Rowing Cup to win gold in Poznan, Poland.
Paulis was a 2012 All-Big Ten Second Team honoree in her lone season as a Buckeye. She was a member of the First Varsity Eight that took second place at the Big Ten Championships. Paulis is a budding star in the sport of rowing having already captured an Olympic gold, and in 2014 at the U23 World Rowing Championships, she won gold in the lightweight single sculls.