Nevin Harrison poses for a portrait during the Team USA Tokyo 2020 Olympic shoot on Nov. 22, 2019 in West Hollywood, California.
In the same place where in 2019 she became the first U.S. world champion in sprint canoe, Harrison won the same event, the C1 200-meter, in the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup. Her time of 47.59 was just under two seconds quicker than her world championship time, and .29 seconds better than second-place Yarisleidis Cirilo Duboys of Cuba. Liudmyla Luzan of Ukraine ran third.
It’s the third year in a row Harrison has won an event in Szeged as she also won the C1 200 at a world cup there last September, her only race of 2020.
That 2019 world title was not only historic, it was the beginning of Harrison’s journey to this summer’s Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Harrison secured the U.S. Olympic quota spot in the C1 200-meter that day. Fast forward nearly 18 months and Harrison then claimed that spot for herself at the ACA Sprint Olympic & National Team Trial.
A world champion at 17 and an Olympic qualifier at 18, Harrison will turn 19 this summer prior to making her Olympic debut. She’ll have a chance to make some more history there, as women’s canoeing makes its first appearance on the Olympic program (women have competed in Olympic kayaking since 1948). Team USA hasn’t won an Olympic canoeing medal since the 1992 Barcelona Games.
“It’s been my dream since I was a kid to compete at the Olympics,” Harrison told TeamUSA.org in March just ahead of her Olympic qualification. “I’m hoping I can live up to what I know I can do. The amount of pressure is going to be ridiculous, and I’m just hoping to not disappoint myself or anyone else.”