Canoe Kayak Canada Athletes Set to Paddle to the Podium at 2019 Pan Am Games

Canoe Slalom, Canoe Sprint
Posted By:

LIMA, PERU (July 26, 2019) – Many of Canada’s strongest sprint and slalom paddlers will be competing at the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru in the coming weeks. Fourteen sprint and four slalom athletes will look to improve upon Canada’s medal performances from the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games, taking home a record fourteen medals for Canada in both canoeing disciplines.

Ottawa’s strong paddling community in both disciplines is well represented in this group of athletes. All four slalom athletes, Lois Betteridge, Olivia Norman, Keenan Simpson and Liam Smedley are from the capital city, as well as two sprint athletes, Drew Hodges and Rowan Hardy-Kavanagh.

The sprint paddlers will be lining up at the Peruvian Regional Conservation Area of Albufera de Medio Mundo this Saturday for the kick off of the sprint events which will run until Tuesday July 30th. Eighteen countries will be competing in the canoe sprint events in Lima, with a total of 125 athletes participating.

“I feel very honoured to have the chance to compete for Canada at the Pan Am Games this year in Lima, Peru,” said sprint kayaker Alanna Bray-Lougheed (Burloak, ON). “It’s a Major Games, so it will be a great chance to lay down the best race possible in a multi-sport event. I’m excited with the team we have and I’m confident we will perform well and enjoy the whole experience together!”

The 2019 sprint team was selected following the second set of National Team Trials held in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in late June.

Sprint canoer Drew Hodges (Rideau, ON), recalls his experience in 2007 when his babysitter and sprint athlete Angus Mortimer had recently come home from the Pan Am Games.

“I remember reading the newspaper without knowing anything about paddling and seeing how cool and meaningful to his development as an athlete this experience was for him. He went on to compete in the Olympic Games the following year,” said Hodges. “The Mortimer brothers were a major force in my introduction to the sport of paddling and I am really excited to have the opportunity to compete the Pan Am Games just like Angus did, and hopefully share some more experiences he had in his career.”

On the slalom side, the event runs from August 2nd through until August 4th, where the Canadian athletes will be competing 200km south of Lima on the Rio Cañete in Lunahuaná. Extreme slalom, an exciting fast-paced event where four athletes race head-to-head through gates in an attempt to cross the finish line first, will make its Pan American Games debut in Lima.

“It’s a totally different feeling coming into the Lima 2019 games than any other international competition I’ve prepared for,” said slalom athlete Liam Smedley. “It’s exciting and empowering to know you’re competing next to all your Canadian teammates all in different sports, but all with the same purpose: to push yourself, find fulfilment in the process, and if all pieces fit, to step on that podium.”

The slalom athletes were selected through a combination of races at the National Team Trials in Oklahoma City and the Pan American Championships in Brazil, which were both held in April.


To view the complete list of Canadian athletes heading to Peru, click here.


Lima 2019 Pan American Games – Canoe Sprint


Albufera de Medio Mundo, Peru


Saturday, July 27 (9:00am to 1:45pm PET) (10:00am to 2:45pm EST)

Sunday, July 28 (9:00am to 1:25pm PET) (10:00am to 2:25pm EST)

Monday, July 29 (9:00am to 1:30pm PET) (10:00am to 2:30pm EST)

Tuesday, July 30 (9:00am to 11:50am PET) (10:00am to 12:50pm EST)

How to follow:

Visit the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games website here.


Lima 2019 Pan American Games – Canoe Slalom


Rio Cañete, Lunahuaná, Peru


Friday, August 2 (9:30am to 2:30pm PET) (10:30am to 3:30pm EST)

Saturday, August 3 (9:00am to 12:22pm PET) (10:00am to 1:22pm EST)

Sunday, August 4 (9:00am to 5:00pm PET) (10:00am to 6:00pm EST)

How to follow:

Visit the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games website here.




Colleen Coderre, Communications Lead
Canoe Kayak Canada
C: 613.530.6217

Claire Juguet, Onsite Media attaché
C: 613.929.6804 (whats app)