OTTAWA (June 3, 2021) – Canoe Kayak Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced Canada’s canoe/kayak slalom team nominated to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The four athletes qualified for Team Canada based on their performances at the 2019 World Canoe Slalom Championships in La Seu D’Urgell, Spain, two competitions held in Penrith, Australia in 2020 as well as the Mayor’s Cup in Krakow, Poland on May 29, 2021. This will mark the first time that Canada has sent a full slate of slalom paddlers to the Olympic Games since Sydney 2000.
“It’s really special to be able to compete at my third Olympics,” said kayaker Michael Tayler. “I’ve learned a lot since 2016 and feel ready to go for it in Tokyo. Having an extra year has been an opportunity to get stronger and recover from some injuries. We’ve been training in Europe since February and then headed straight to Tokyo!”
A three-time Olympian, Tayler competed as Canada’s lone slalom paddler at London 2012. At just 20 years old, he was the youngest competitor in the field. At Rio 2016, Tayler made his return to the Olympic stage, finishing 16th overall.
Cameron Smedley will return for his second Olympic appearance in the men’s canoe event. Smedley captured a silver medal in the men’s C-1 event at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
Kayaker Florence Maheu will make her Olympic debut in Tokyo along with canoeist Haley Daniels. Daniels won a historic bronze medal at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, the first major multi-sport Games to feature women’s canoe events. Women’s canoe will be making its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.
“I have been working towards this goal for 12 years and I am grateful to qualify for the Olympics as the first wave of female canoeists to ever compete at the Olympics,” said Daniels. “I cannot wait for that start line!”
Canada has been competing in canoe/kayak slalom at the Olympic Games since the sport debuted at Munich 1972. After that one-off appearance, it returned to the Olympic program at Barcelona 1992. While no Canadian has won an Olympic medal in canoe/kayak slalom, David Ford came the closest with his fourth-place finish in the men’s K-1 event at Athens 2004.
Canoe/kayak slalom will take place July 25 to July 30 (Days 2 to 7) at the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre. Cameron Smedley and Florence Maheu will compete for Canada with Canoe (C-1) Men’s Heats and Kayak (K-1) Women Heats on Sunday, July 25. Haley Daniels and Michael Tayler will compete later in the week on July 28.
“Our canoe/kayak slalom team is an exciting example of the journey of our whole team,” said Team Canada’s Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission, Marnie McBean. “These veterans, first time Olympians and new sport athletes navigate turbulent waters – with and against the current – while remaining laser focused on their goal. I’m so proud of all that they have accomplished.”
The athletes nominated are:
- Haley Daniels (Calgary, Alta.) – Women’s Canoe Slalom
- Florence Maheu (Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Que.) – Women’s Kayak Slalom
- Michael Tayler (Ottawa, Ont.) – Men’s Kayak Slalom
- Cameron Smedley (Dunrobin, Ont.) – Men’s Canoe Slalom
The coaches nominated are:
- Anthony Colin (Ottawa, Ont.)
- Michal Staniszewski (Gatineau, Que.)
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 Organisations.
The latest Team Canada Tokyo 2020 roster can be found here and the qualification tracker can be found here.
Colleen Coderre, Communications Lead
Canoe Kayak Canada
Josh Su, Specialist, Public Relations
Canadian Olympic Committee