What: 2013 ICF Wildwater Junior World Championships
Where: Lofer, Austria
When: July 9-13
We had an excellent day of racing on the Wildwater Sprint Course here at Lofer, Austria. All of our teams rose to the occasion to post respectable times, and our junior athletes deserve credit for working together to successfully negotiate the Technical Team Race constraints on a demanding course. However, the fun news of the day is that we placed third in the C-2 Team Sprint Race. Now, it has to be said that we won an International Medal and not a World Championship medal because we did not have the full complement of six countries competing. However, our young athletes are proud to be bringing home medals for the United States after a drought for USA Wildwater since the Charlotte, NC Jr. Worlds.
One of the cool, and perhaps historic, aspects of this race is that one of our three C-2 crews was a mixed C-2 paddled by the brother and sister duo of Selena and Bryson Popp. The team work that our athletes demonstrated on the water paddling in tight formation and negotiating challenging rapids was outstanding. It also had a genuinely international dimension because the French and Czech teams loaned us two C-2s so that we could compete and make it an official International Race. I am proud to say that we were heartily congratulated by the Czech and French coaches who see us coming to compete year after year; one coach complemented us on our progress since the last Jr. World Championship.