Discipline/Event: Canoe Sprint; C1 200m
High School: Nathan Hale High School
College/University: University of Washington
Area of Study/Major: Public Health/Global Health
At what age did you start paddling and how did you become involved in the sport?
I started when I was 13 because my friends kayaked and they pulled me in. I began canoeing almost immediately though and that’s been my sport ever since
Where and when was your first competition, and how did you do?
My first competition was in Canada; Bantam Champs back then. I did pretty poorly. I actually paddled in a circle around the start dock went all the way to the other side of the lake and back to my lane before finishing. It took longer than 11 minutes for a 500. The officials were nice enough to let me finish as a young female canoeist.
What has inspired you to train and compete at an International level?
My team as a whole has really always been my biggest supporter. They are my best friends and knowing that they are watching me and cheering me on has been the engine behind me. I want to pave a path of equality for all girls who want to canoe and give them that opportunity in the future.
What is your preference - individual or team boats, and why?
I prefer team boats. I like to work with others and I think that accomplishing something with a partner just means so much more than being by yourself.
What race distance do you prefer, and why?
For women in canoe there is really only the 200 C1 so that has always been my main focus. I have to say I am biased because I train for that and therefore that is my best and my favorite.
What has been your biggest accomplishment(s) in the sport?
My biggest accomplishment is definitely placing 5th in C1 200 at the 2011 Junior World Championships in Brandenburg, Germany. It was a goal I made in 2008. Making the goal you set when you’re young is a totally invigorating feeling.
What is the best advice you have been given and who offered it to you?
The best advice I have been given is being told to do my best and leave it on the water. My mom always told me that the best I can do is race as hard as I can. With overcoming injuries, that was always the best thing I could tell myself and then work on what I needed to improve on next time.
Tell us about your current training schedule? Describe an average day for you?
Right now I am not training for canoe. I have decided to take a year or two off to let my shoulder injury have a break and will be coaching in the meantime.
What do you do for fun and relaxation?
I like to hang out with friends and talk or watch movies to relax. For fun, I love to go outside! Hiking, camping, swimming, and pretty much anything else. I have started to play water polo, take salsa dancing and rock climb in this year off. In the summer, I’m always at the lake working but that’s one of my favorite things to do. I love to coach!
What would you like to do after your Canoe/Kayak career is over?
I think that I will always be involved with Canoe/Kayak. I wouldn’t say my career is over yet since I would like to race again someday but for now, coaching is one of my favorite things to do. I really hope that women in canoe will be able to be seen equally some day in the future and I want to be a part of that movement. As for life outside the sport, I want to have a family at some point and be a physical therapist or environmental health worker.
What is your favorite thing about the sport of Canoe/Kayak? Do you have any special memory that you would like to share?
My favourite thing about Canoe/Kayak is the community. All the people I know are my favorite people to spend time with. They always are happy and make me laugh. One of my favourite memories is the SCKC Paddle-a-thon our first year. It was so fun! We put a grill on a floating dock so people had to paddle out to get food and it was 90 degrees on that day in May. That never happens in Seattle!
What is your goal for the 2013 season?
Help Lydia Keefe Sampson, Anna Socha and Azusa Murphy meet their goals!
What is your dream goal?
I really hope that some day I will be able to compete in the Olympics. That has always been my dream and it gets closer every day with the continual push for equality in the sport.