Lydia Keefe Sampson
: Sprint Canoe
: April 27, 1997
: Seattle, Washington
: Seattle Canoe and Kayak Club (SCKC)
: The Northwest School
2013 U.S. Junior Sprint World Championships Team Member
2013 National Championships: 1st in Jr. C1 200m
At what age did you start paddling and how did you become involved in the sport?
I started paddling just before I turned 9. My older brother and my mom paddled. From an early age I watched my brother race, and as soon as I was old enough I jumped in a boat and fell in love with the sport.
Where and when was your first competition, and how did you do?
My first competition was the Ted Houk Memorial Regatta which is hosted by my club. I was an extremely young Bantam at the time and was racing kayak. I was very stable, so I actually did quite well.
What has inspired you to train and compete at an International level?
My coaches, and fellow competitors have inspired me to do my best and to push myself, but my brother, Alden Keefe Sampson, has always been someone I look up to, and watching him race internationally inspired me to train at a higher level. I love paddling and I am a competitive person, so racing internationally is an exciting challenge for me.
What is your preference - individual or team boats, and why?
I prefer singles. I have high standards for myself and knowing that I alone am responsible for the outcome pushes me to do my best.
What race distance do you prefer, and why?
Since I started paddling I have always loved longer distances. For years the 1000m was my favorite distance. I have come to love the 500m and 200m because for women canoeists the 200m and 500m are our only options so I have focused more on them.
What has been your biggest accomplishment(s) in the sport?
Last year at the Canada Day Regatta hosted by Rideau Canoe Club, Angela Wang and I placed 2nd in the C2 500m. It was my first international medal and an exciting race. At the 2012 USACK National Championships I won races in both my age category and the one above, and finished the regatta with 6 gold medals.
What is the best advice you have been given and who offered it to you?
My family, coaches and team members have all given me amazing advice and I am grateful to each of them. They have helped me become the athlete and person I am today.
Tell us about your current training schedule? Describe an average day for you?
Most of the year I weight lift/dry-land condtion/run 3x per week and have paddling workouts almost everyday. In the summer, I have 9 water workouts and 3 weight workouts per week.
What do you do for fun and relaxation?
I love being around my friends and family. I also love to draw, cook, and spend as much time as possible outdoors.
What would you like to do after your Canoe/Kayak career is over?
I do not have a clear idea. Health and nutrition have been of interest to me. I could see myself educating athletes and children about the importance of these topics.
What is your favorite thing about the sport of Canoe/Kayak? Do you have any special memory that you would like to share?
I love the community. My club is full of spirit and team traditions that I love. I have met so many amazing people through the years and have made lifelong friends. Canoe/Kayak has been a huge part of my life since a very young age and I hope it stays that way for all my life.
What is your goal for the 2013 season?
I have never competed at Junior Worlds before so I hope to have the opportunity to experience the event. My goal is to qualify and place in the middle/top half of the A final.
What is your dream goal?
My dream is for womens canoe to be an Olympic sport so that competing in the Olympics could be an option for myself and other women.