Current Residence: Chula Vista, Calif.
Event/Discipline: Sprint Kayak, 1000m events
School: Princeton University
Club: Washington Canoe Club
- 7th K-1 1000m, 6th K-2 500m - 2010 Pan American Championships
- 7th K-2 1000m - 2007 Pan American Games
- semifinalist K-2 500m, K-2 1000m - 2005 Junior World Championships
- 2011 US National Sprint Team Member
- 2011 World Championships in Szeged, Hungary: 7th in K2 500m B Final, 8th in K2 1000m heats
- 2011 World Cup No. 3 in Duisburg, Germany: reached semifinal of K-1 500m
- 2011 World Cup No. 2 in Racice, Czech Republic: knocked out in heats for K-1 500m and K-1 1000m
- 2011 US Sprint Team Trials: 4th in K-2 1000m, 6th in K-1 1000m
- Job: Software Consultant/Programmer
- Hobbies: reading history books, computers, building stuff
- How'd you get started? Two of my uncles competed on the Hungarian National Team, winning two World Championship titles and numerous medals. They inspired me to start paddling.
- Food: Nothing beats delicious chocolate chip cookies
- Website: http://www.paddleguru.com/
Flatwater sprint kayaking has always been a bit of a family tradition for me. My extended family lives in Hungary, where kayaking is really popular. Two of my uncles competed at the world championship level, and they share several medals between them. The elder of my two uncles, Kalman Petrovics, is a two time World Champion, in the 1990 K1 (singles) marathon and the 1985 K4 (four man kayak) 10,000 meters. My youngest uncle Bela also earned a bronze medal in the K2 (doubles) 1000. Their accomplishments have inspired me to also try my luck at the sport and to continue the family tradition.
Although kayaking is not as popular in the United States as it is in Europe, I was intent on finding a place to pursue the sport. In the summer of 1999, at age 12, I finally found the Washington Canoe Club (located in D.C.) I joined the team and have been a member of the club ever since. I attended my first nationals in Gainesville, GA, in 2000, where I placed 4th in the K1-500 semifinal, narrowly missing the final. That summer was also the first time that I competed in the K2 with Sam, setting the stage for a really successful, long term partnership.
Several years later, at age 18, Sam and I raced and won the K2-500 and the K2-1000 meter events at the Junior National Team Trials in Lake Placid, NY. This performance qualified us for the Junior World Championships which were held later that summer in Szeged, Hungary. Unfortunately, Sam had a very untimely accident and broke his wrist days after our trials. He made a great recovery, however, and I stayed true to the K2 and we raced quite well at the Jr. Worlds given our setback. We placed in the semifinals and narrowly missed the B-Finals.
After Junior Worlds, I began my college career at Princeton University where I am majoring in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and obtaining a Certificate (minor) in Finance. Both Sam and I train on Lake Carnegie, where we share the water with the Princeton crew team and the US National Rowing Team.
Our most recent major competition was the K2-1000 meters at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We placed 7th in the finals in a really tight race. It’s been our most impressive accomplishment to date, and we hope to do even better in the future.