Adam van Koeverden

Adam van Koeverden, kayaker (b at Oakville, Ont 29 Jan 1982). Adam van Koeverden is a flat water kayak race, and Canada's first-ever Olympic gold medalist in kayaking.

Early Career

Adam van Koeverden began canoeing and kayaking at a young age in Oakville. In his late teens, his talent obvious but the funding available to budding kayakers lacking, van Koeverden raised his own money to travel to Australia, Florida and Europe, where he offered to be the training partner of any elite athlete willing to take him on. In 2001, he won his first World Cup medal, a silver, in the men's 200-m kayaking event at Paris, France. Adam van Koeverden returned to Canada shortly after, both to continue his training and begin studies at McMaster University.

Olympic Competition

Leading up to the trials for the Olympic Games in early 2004, Adam van Koeverden had had considerable success. He excelled in both university and World Cup events, winning his first world championship medal, a silver, at Gainesville, Georgia, in the men's 1000-m event in 2004. His success in the 2004 Olympic trials assured him a spot on the Canadian team destined for Athens. Adam van Koeverden began his Olympic competition with a bronze medal in the men's 1000-m event. His win a few days later in the 500-m, which he dubbed "the perfect race," was the first time he had ever won the event at the international level.

Adam van Koeverden's performance was rewarded by the Canadian Olympic Committee, who chose him to carry the Canadian flag at the Closing Ceremonies. He was Canada's first double-medalist in the summer Olympics since Donovan Bailey and Clara Hughes at Atlanta in 1996.

Van Koeverden qualified for the 2008 Olympics at Beijing, bearing the flag at the opening ceremonies. Though disappointed in his initial races, finishing 8th out of nine in his signature competition, the 1000 m, he later set a personal best time in the 1500 m qualifying round. He won silver in the event when a photo finish revealed that he had ousted the 3-place boat by a mere 4-100ths/second.

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, van Koeverden took the silver medal in the In the men's K-1 1000m. Despite hoping for a gold, van Koeverden declared after the race that he "can find the silver lining in silver."

Continued Success

In 2004 , Adam van Koeverden added a Canadian championship and several more World Cup medals to his list of achievements, and he has amassed two world championship titles, 22 world cup titles and 67 Canadian championship titles. In 2004 he was awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's outstanding athlete. He is an athlete ambassador for Right To Play, and a graduate of McMaster University in Kinesiology (2007), where he was elected class valedictorian.