OTTAWA (July 7, 2021) – Canoe Kayak Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced Canada’s canoe/kayak sprint team nominated to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The 16 paddlers are nominated for Team Canada based on their performances at the 2019 World Canoe Sprint Championships in Hungary, the CKC Olympic trials in Burnaby, B.C. and multiple internal performance assessments conducted in Canada.
Women’s canoe will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo, making the sprint program gender equal, with both men and women competing in four kayak events and two canoe events.
Canada will be well represented in this new Olympic event by multi-time world champions Laurence Vincent Lapointe and Katie Vincent. The duo won gold at the 2018 World Championships, smashing their own world record in the C-2 500m event. Vincent Lapointe took home two additional gold medals at that event in the C-1 200m and C-1 5000m.
“I feel a lot of love and support from the community in these final moments ahead of the women’s canoe debut,” said Vincent. “When the starter says ‘go’ in Tokyo, it will be a moment I hope all Canadians and paddlers will celebrate. It is hard not to reflect on the journey to get here but beyond the results, it’s been the wildest, most rewarding year of my life. These Olympic Games will be an opportunity to celebrate and reap the rewards of our hard work, resilience and dedication. We can’t control the outcome but we can commit to doing our best and leaving it all on the water.”
Team veteran Mark de Jonge, who won K-1 200m bronze at London 2012, will compete in his third Olympic Games. The Nova Scotia -born paddler qualified for Tokyo while competing in the men’s K-4 Olympic trials race-off with teammates Nicholas Matveev, Pierre-Luc Poulin and Simon McTavish.
“It’s a huge relief to finally be nominated to the Canadian Olympic Team after five years of preparation and a lot of uncertainty over the past year,” said de Jonge. “I’m so proud of our team for staying strong through the rough patches and I am confident that our resilience and hard work will pay off when we compete in Tokyo.”
Andréanne Langlois will be returning for her second Olympic Games, after competing at Rio 2016 in two kayak events – K-1 200m and K-4 500m. Langlois won four medals at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games including two gold in the women’s K-2 and K-4 events.
“I believe we have an extremely strong team going to Tokyo,” said Canoe Kayak Canada’s Chief Technical Officer, Graham Barton. “We have been able to keep our athletes on the water throughout a challenging 18 months and while our Olympic nominees have not been able to compete internationally during that time, our assessments at Olympic Team Trials and throughout our preparation indicate that we are on track in each of our events. Tokyo will just be one more bubble experience that we have become accustomed to, so it won’t be a distraction. I know they are looking forward to the start of competition on August 2 and will proudly represent the maple leaf.”
Canadian paddlers have been winning Olympic medals since the sport made its debut at Berlin 1936. Canada’s biggest medal haul came at Los Angeles 1984 where six medals were won, including two gold, from Larry Cain in the C-1 500m and Alwyn Morris and Hugh Fisher in the K-2 1000m. Cain added a silver in the C-1 1000m while Morris and Fisher also won bronze in the K-2 500m. These were also the first Olympic Games at which Canadian women won kayak medals, taking silver in the K-2 500m and bronze in the K-4 500m, 36 years after women’s kayak events were first included on the Olympic program. The most notable women’s kayaker, Caroline Brunet, won three straight medals in the K-1 500m at Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004.
Team Canada’s most recent Olympic medals in canoe/kayak sprint came at London 2012 where Adam van Koeverden won his fourth Olympic medal in men’s kayak. Mark De Jonge won a bronze in men’s K-1 200m while Mark Oldershaw won bronze in the C-1 1000m.
Canoe/kayak sprint will take place August 2 to 7 (Days 10 to 15) at the Sea Forest Waterway.
Canadian sprint event entries will be finalized closer to the event start date.
“Fun fact, the C- in C-1 and C-2 doesn’t stand for Canoe, it stands for Canadian! I’m so stoked that we have such strong paddlers, including for the first time, female canoeists, in the Canadian and Kayak events!”, said Team Canada’s Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission, Marnie McBean.
The athletes nominated are:
Katie Vincent (Mississauga Canoe Club)
Laurence Vincent Lapointe (Trois-Rivières Canoe-Kayak Club)
Connor Fitzpatrick (Senobe Aquatic Club)
Roland Varga (Richmond Hill Canoe Club)
Alanna Bray-Lougheed (Burloak Canoe Club)
Andréanne Langlois (Club de canoë-kayak de Trois-Rivières)
Courtney Stott (Balmy Beach Canoe Club)
Lissa Bissonnette (Point-Claire Canoe Kayak Club)
Madeline Schmidt (Rideau Canoe Club))
Michelle Russell (Cheema Aquatic Club)
Brian Malfesi (Ridge Canoe and Kayak Club)
Mark de Jonge (Maskwa Aquatic Club)
Nicholas Matveev (Balmy Beach Canoe Club)
Pierre-Luc Poulin (Lac-Beauport Canoe Club)
Simon McTavish (Mississauga Canoe Club)
Vincent Jourdenais (Club de canoe-kayak de vitesse de Trois-Rivieres)
The coaches nominated are:
Anders Gustaffson (Jönköping, Sweden)
Chad Brooks (Lake Echo, Nova Scotia)
Jon Pike (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia)
Mark Granger (Lachine, Québec)
Mathieu Pelletier (Trois-Rivières, Québec)
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organizations.
Colleen Coderre, Communications Lead
Canoe Kayak Canada
Josh Su, Specialist, Public Relations
Canadian Olympic Committee