Adidas Outdoor announced the addition of rower Sonya Baumstein, 29, to its team of athletes. In 2013, Baumstein became the first person to stand-up paddleboard across the Bering Strait from Big Diomede Island to the mainland of Alaska, and is currently training to become the first person to complete a solo row from Japan to San Francisco in 2015.
“Sonya is a versatile athlete with a strong background not only in rowing, but also, in kayaking and paddling, making her an excellent brand ambassador for us,” said Greg Thomsen, Adidas Outdoor, U.S. managing director. “She has overcome many adversities in her career, and with her determination and work ethic, this passion has enabled her to make history.”
Over the past few years, Baumstein achieved a number of admirable milestones including a 57-day expedition from December 2011 to January 2012, during which, she rowed across the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands to Barbados, and in 2012, she kayaked from Seattle to Juneau in three months. To train for her upcoming attempt to row solo from Japan to San Francisco, she will attempt a solo row from Florida to New England this summer.
Sonya is the founder and president of Epoch Expeditions, a nonprofit organization specializing in wilderness education through social media, expeditions and partnerships with schools and other nonprofit organizations.
During her expedition next year, she will be teaming up with NASA’s Aquarius project to measure salinity levels of the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to gain knowledge of how global warming is impacting oceans. Epoch Expeditions also offers an Ocean Ambassadors program, which enables students to meet Sonya prior to her departure, participate in satellite calls with Sonya during the expedition, and an in-person presentation after in an effort to get the next generation involved in environmental issues.
Born and raised in Orlando, Fla., Baumstein has been rowing since a young age. She competed in high school and was recruited to row at the University of Wisconsin-Madison until a car accident ended her college rowing career. She went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007 and a Master’s Degree from the University of Central Florida in 2009. Since graduating, Sonya has dedicated herself to completing rowing expeditions across the world.