Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Hometown: San Diego, California
Club: San Diego Canoe Kayak Team
High School: American International School of Budapest
2013 U.S. Junior World Championships Team Member
- 2013 Junior World Championships: 13th in Junior K2 200m, 16th in Junior K2 1000m with Dylan Puckett
- 2013 Lake Placid International: 1st in Junior K2 1000m
- 2013 National Team Trials: 1st in Junior K1 1000m, 1st in Junior K2 1000m, 1st in Junior K2 200m, 2nd in Junior K1 200m
At what age did you start paddling and how did you become involved in the sport?
I started paddling when I was thirteen years old. My dad’s favorite sport is kayaking and he asked me if I wanted to try it just for fun, but I loved it so much that I started training every day right away.
Where and when was your first competition, and how did you do?
My first competition was the Budapest Championships. I was fourteen years old then, and I came in third.
What has inspired you to train and compete at an International level?
My coach and my teammates inspired me to compete. I couldn’t stand when someone beat me in training so I trained very hard to beat all of my teammates. I realized that I loved competing.
What is your preference - individual or team boats, and why?
My preference is individual in the shorter distances (e.g. 200m) because I can only focus on myself and make sure that I achieve my maximum speed and keep it throughout the race. However, I prefer team boats in longer races (e.g. 1000m) because there I have to make sure that my stroke rate and my power input matches those of my team and I find that very exciting.
What race distance do you prefer, and why?
I prefer the 200-meter races because those require me to paddle at my maximum speed and I love doing that.
What has been your biggest accomplishment(s) in the sport?
I came in 6th at the Olympic Hopes Regatta with my partner Dylan Puckett in the K2 1000m. However, I’m also proud of being a four-time US national champion and a three-time Hungarian national champion.
What is the best advice you have been given and who offered it to you?
The best advice that has been given to me by my coach, when he told me that “the important thing is not how good you are, but how good you want to be”.
Tell us about your current training schedule? Describe an average day for you?
I train eleven times a week. I have a training from 6 am to 7:30 am every morning from Monday to Friday, a training from 4 pm to 7 pm every afternoon from Monday to Friday, and a training from 8 am to 11 am every Saturday. I rest on Sundays. In an average day, I wake up at 5 am, go to training, then go to school, then go to training again, then go home at about 8 pm, and then I study until about 11:30 pm.
What do you do for fun and relaxation?
For fun I hang out with my friends and for relaxation I play the saxophone.
What would you like to do after your Canoe/Kayak career is over?
I want to become a doctor, so next to training, I also study about 3-4 hours every day, and even more on weekends.
What is your favourite thing about the sport of Canoe/Kayak? Do you have any special memory that you would like to share?
My favorite thing about the sport is how exiting and relaxing it is at the same time. I get fit by doing it, but paddling with my friends and teammates every day also calms me. One of my special memories that I would like to share is the morning after my very first kayak training. I was so tired and my muscles hurt so much that I couldn’t get out of my bed.
What is your goal for the 2013 season?
My goal is to qualify for the Junior World Championships in Canada.
What is your dream goal?
My dream goal is to represent the USA at the 2016 Olympics.
Year in Review: Flatwater Sprint
Dec. 04, 2013
In the first season since the retirement of three-time Olympian Carrie Johnson, the battle for women’s kayak supremacy was wide open. Among a host of Oklahoma City-based paddlers, Kaitlyn McElroy (Oklahoma City, Okla.) emerged as a potent threat in both kayak singles and doubles.
RECAP: 2013 U.S. Sprint National Championships
Aug. 08, 2013
Based in Gig Harbor, Wash., GHCKRT won its second consecutive Sprint National Championship team title under Head Coach Alan Anderson. The club takes home the Yonkers Trophy with 28 athletes accumulating 473.5 points.
RECAP: 2013 Junior/Under-23 Sprint World Championships
July 30, 2013
Six US boats record Top 20 finishes Sunday, making nine total boats on the weekend. Ryan Dolan’s 11th place finish in men’s Under-23 K1 200m punctuated Sunday’s performances.
RECAP: 2013 Lake Placid International
July 12, 2013
The 2013 Lake Placid International also served as the U.S. ParaCanoe Team Trials. Team USA will compete at the 2013 U.S. ParaCanoe World Championships Team, to be held as part of the 2013 Sprint World Championships in Duisburg Germany, Aug. 28-Sept. 1.
2013 Senior, Junior, U23 and OHR Teams Announced
April 28, 2013
Congratulations to the athletes selected to represent Team USA!
McElroy, Hornsby Shine at 2013 U.S. Sprint National Team Trials
April 24, 2013
The 2013 Team Trials marks the beginning of a new Olympic quadrennial, in which there will be some big shoes to fill. In senior women’s kayak, Kaitlyn McElroy (Oklahoma City, Okla.) will get the first shot at replacing replace three-time Olympian Carrie Johnson (San Diego, Calif.), who retired after London to enter veterinary school. McElroy finished first in both the 200m and 500m finals before teaming up with her Oklahoma City Boathouse District training partner Maggie Hogan (San Diego, Calif.) to win the K2 500m distance.