Name: Austin Schwinn
Event: Sprint Kayak (1000m) & Marathon
Weight: 165 lbs.
Birthdate: June 13, 1991
Hometown: Goshen, Indiana
Club: Oklahoma City Boathouse
High School: Goshen High School
College/University: Oklahoma City University
Area of Study/Major: Economics & Finance
2010-11: Finished fourth in the men’s open single 5,000 meter and 200 at the USA Canoe/Kayak Sprint National Championships … bronze in the men’s open single 500 at the USA Canoe/Kayak Collegiate Sprint national Championships … silver in the men’s open double 500 and 200 at the USA Canoe/Kayak Collegiate Sprint National Championships … gold in the men’s open four 500 and 200 at the USA Canoe/Kayak Sprint National Championships …
High School: Competed in 2008,2009, 2010 ICF marathon world championships … multiple titles at USCA marathon national championships from 2006-present … coached by Matt Streib … lettered in cross country at Goshen High School … cross country scholar athlete … honor roll student …
Personal: Majoring in business finance/economics… member of Kappa Sigma … intern at Northwest Mutual Financial Network … son of Steve and Linette Schwinn
At what age did you start paddling and how did you become involved in the sport?
I started paddling recreationally when I was 14 and then started racing competitively when I was 15 years old. I became involved in the sport when I visited a kayak shop close to my home which was owned by Matt Streib, a member of the 1980 USA Olympic Team. He got me very interested in the sport and took me under his wing to start training me. I just took off from there.
Where and when was your first competition, and how did you do?
My first competition was a local marathon kayak race in the next town over. I was the youngest one racing and I had never done any really long paddles before so they shortened the course for me. I came in last but I at least finished the race.
What has inspired you to train and compete at an International level?
It was my dream when I first started paddling to race internationally. Matt Streib, my mentor would tell me stories from when he raced internationally, which inspired me. He has helped me along the way, giving me that dream.
What is your preference - individual or team boats, and why?
Originally, I only ever wanted to race individually because I did not want to worry about having anyone else hold me back or me letting them down. Now, I love team boats because it brings a whole different dynamic to the sport. I feel more accomplished after a good team boat finish than I do individually.
What race distance do you prefer, and why?
I prefer the 1000m because it is a much more strategic race to me. It is painful but very rewarding.
What has been your biggest accomplishment(s) in the sport?
When I graduated high school, I decided to do a 121-mile canoe race that summer with my mentor, Matt Streib. 15 hours after the start, we finished 6th. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but probably the most fun.
What is the best advice you have been given and who offered it to you?
All you have to do to get what you want is dedicate yourself and work hard. You are capable of whatever you set your mind to.
Tell us about your current training schedule? Describe an average day for you?
I am currently training in Oklahoma City under the coaching of Shaun Caven. I train 2 times a day, every day except for Sunday. I wake up at 5:45, get to the boathouse, warm up and stretch; then the first workout starts at 6:30. When the workout is over, I either go to class or my internship. Around lunch time, I take a nap and relax for a while. My second workout is at 3:45. After that, I have dinner and do whatever homework or internship work I need to do. Once all that is done, I relax for a while and go to bed.
What do you do for fun and relaxation?
At night, I love to hang out with my girlfriend or other college friends. I also do ceramics when I can. On the weekends, after training, I love to go hiking, camping, and rock climbing.
Next summer, the Junior and Under 23 World Championships are in Canada, what did you think when you first heard the announcement? Have you been to Canada before?
I was very excited to hear it was in Welland because my family lives right on the border of Michigan, which is relatively close to the race. I have been to Canada several times and love it.
What would you like to do after your Canoe/Kayak career is over?
I want to keep kayaking as long as I possibly can. Once my full time race career is over, I would like to spend a lot more time backpacking and cross country skiing. I would also like to focus on advancing in a strong business career.
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 training out in nature and being away from everything. The sound of the water is very peaceful even when you are training as hard as you can.
What is your goal for the 2013 season?
I would love to race U23 World Championships and just do the best I possibly can.
What is your dream goal?
My dream goal is to race in the Olympics.