TORONTO (September 28, 2023) – Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) and the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) have announced Canada’s canoe/kayak sprint team nominated to compete at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.
The Team Canada canoe/kayak sprint team for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games is:
Sophia Jensen – Cascades
Sloan MacKenzie – Cheema Aquatic Club
Katie Vincent – Mississauga Canoe Club
Toshka Besharah – Rideau Canoe Club
Natalie Davison – Rideau Canoe Club
Riley Melanson – Senobe Aquatic Club
Michelle Russell – Abenaki Aquatic Club
Maddy Schmidt – Rideau Canoe Club
Courtney Stott – Balmy Beach Canoe Club
Connor Fitzpatrick – Senobe Aquatic Club
Alix Plomteux – Club de Canoë-Kayak Lac Beauport
Craig Spence – Cheema Aquatic Club
Ian Gaudet – Banook Canoe Club
Laurent Lavigne – Club de canoë-kayak de vitesse de Trois-Rivières
Cameron Low – Balmy Beach Canoe Club
Nick Matveev – Balmy Beach Canoe Club
Simon McTavish – Mississauga Canoe Club
Pierre-Luc Poulin – Club de Canoë-Kayak Lac Beauport
The 18 athletes qualified for Team Canada based on their performances at the 2023 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships and the CKC Pan Am trials held in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia earlier this month.
Following a very successful world championship in late August, nine-time world champion Katie Vincent is looking forward to a new experience.
“This is my first Pan Am Games team! I’m really excited to have this opportunity, to be part of the atmosphere around Team Canada, and compete against some of the best in our sport,” said Vincent. “This is also an important stepping stone for our team on our road to Paris 2024, and to have this experience in a multi-sport environment will be invaluable next summer at the Olympics.”
Vincent is no stranger to success on the international stage, winning bronze at her first Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020 with partner Laurence Vincent Lapointe. She most recently won three gold medals and a bronze at the 2023 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Duisburg, Germany. The bronze came in the women’s C-2 500m with partner Sloan MacKenzie, securing an Olympic spot for Canada in that event for Paris 2024.
“I can’t wait to share this experience with my teammates and other Team Canada athletes. Multi-sport Games have a unique ability to unite athletes from all sports around the world, so I’m really grateful to be part of this team,” Vincent added.
The Pan Am Games canoe/kayak sprint team includes two athletes who stood on the podium on home soil at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. Kayaker Michelle Russell contributed to Canada’s first medal of those Games –gold in the women’s K-4 500m – and captured silver in both the K-1 200m and K-1 500m events. Russell made her Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, finishing 11th in the K-4 500m.
Olympian Pierre-Luc Poulin is looking forward to representing Canada at his second Pan American Games following his bronze medal performance in the K-2 200m event at Toronto 2015.
“Toronto 2015 was my first major Games experience so I’m excited to get back to this kind of environment and build upon our season as a lot of great things have been happening,” said Poulin. “I am hoping for some good racing and performances in Santiago and will look to pull from my experience in Tokyo to hopefully build on more great results this year.”
The team packs a significant amount of experience heading to Santiago, collecting seven medals as well as 12 Olympic quota spots across five events at the 2023 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships last month in Duisburg, Germany.
“We are heading to Santiago with a strong team looking to cap off a successful 2023 season with top performances against a formidable Americas field”, said Ian Mortimer, CKC Chief Technical Officer. “Climbing onto the podium at the Pan American Games will be a big accomplishment in itself, while coupling that goal with the opportunity to use these events as a jumping off point into the 2024 Olympic season, we will be dialed in and ready for a strong competition in Chile.”
Canoe/kayak sprint will take place November 1-4 (Days 12 to 15) at the Laguna Grande de San Pedro de la Paz in Concepción.
“Welcome to Team Canada’s Santiago 2023 canoe/kayak sprint team! I can’t wait to witness your fearless adventures at the Pan Am Games,” said Christine Girard, Team Canada’s Santiago 2023 Chef de Mission. “May every stroke propel you closer to your dreams and may the river of success flow your way!”
Team Canada’s canoe/kayak sprint support team for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games are:
Chad Brooks (Lake Echo, N.S.) – Coach
Andreas Dittmer (Dartmouth, N.S.) – Coach
Anders Gustafsson (Jönköping, Sweden) – Coach
Samuel Raiche (Lachine, Quebec) – Coach
Emily MacKeigan (Ottawa, Ont.) – Team Manager
Ian Mortimer (Ottawa, Ont.) – Team Leader
Katie Smith (Mississauga, Ont.) – Physiotherapist
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.
The latest Team Canada Santiago 2023 roster can be found here.
Colleen Coderre, Communications Lead
Canoe Kayak Canada
Emmalee Nother, Communications Coordinator
Canoe Kayak Canada
Tara MacBournie, Team Canada Santiago 2023 Sport Communications Lead
Canadian Olympic Committee