Adam van Koeverden, kayaker (born 29 January 1982 in Toronto, ON). Adam van Koeverden, Canada’s most successful paddler, has won four Olympic medals at three Games. At the 2004 Olympic Summer Games in Athens, he won a bronze medal in the men's K-1 1000 m event, followed a day later by victory in the K-1 500 m. He was Canada's first double-medalist in the Summer Olympics since Donovan Bailey and Clara Hughes at Atlanta in 1996, and received the Lou Marsh Trophy in 2004 in recognition of his accomplishment. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Van Koeverden won silver in the K-1 1500 m event and at the 2012 Olympics in London, he took silver in the men's K-1 1000 m. Van Koeverden is an athlete ambassador for Right To Play, and a graduate of McMaster University in Kinesiology (2007), where he was elected class valedictorian.

Early Career

Adam van Koeverden was born in Toronto to Joe van Koeverden and Beata Bokrossy. When he was 13 years old, his mother signed him up at the Burloak Canoe Club in Oakville, Ontario, after seeing an advertisement headed, “Future Champions Wanted.” In 1999, he won bronze in K-1 1000 m at the 1999 Junior World Championships.

Olympic Competition

Leading up to the trials for the Olympic Games in early 2004, van Koeverden had had considerable success. He excelled at both university and World Cup events, and in 2003, won his first senior world championship medal, a silver, at Gainesville, Georgia, in the men's K-1 1000 m event. His success in the 2004 Olympic trials assured him a spot on the Canadian team destined for Athens. Van Koeverden began his Olympic competition with a bronze medal in the men's K-1 1000 m event. His win a day later in the K-1 500 m, which he dubbed "the perfect race," was the first time he had ever won the event at the international level. It was Canada’s first gold medal in canoe/kayak in 20 years.

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, and carried the flag at the opening ceremonies. Though disappointed to finish eighth in his signature competition, the K-1 1000 m, he later won silver in the K-1 500 m event when a photo finish revealed that he had ousted the third-place boat by a mere 4/100ths of a second.

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, van Koeverden took the silver medal in the men's K-1 1000 m. Despite hoping for a gold, van Koeverden declared after the race that he "can find the silver lining in silver." In 2016, he qualified for the Rio Olympics, his fourth Summer Games.

Other Competitions

In addition to his four Olympic medals, Adam van Koeverden has amassed two world championship titles and a bronze medal at the 2015 Pan American Games, as well as numerous world cup titles and Canadian championship titles.

International Canoe Federation (ICF) World Championships

Silver

K-1 1000 m

2003

Bronze

K-1 500 m

2005

Silver

K-1 1000 m

2005

Gold

K-1 500 m

2007

Silver

K-1 1000 m

2007

Bronze

K-1 1000 m

2009

Bronze

K-1 500 m

2010

Gold

K-1 1000 m

2011