In memory of whitewater pioneer Heinz Poenn

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It is with sadness that Canoe Kayak Canada has learned of the passing of Heinz Poenn. Heinz was a part of the first Whitewater team Canada ever sent to the World Championships in 1965 in Spittal, Austria. He competed in the Men’s K1 at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games when canoe slalom made its Olympic debut. He was a National Team Coach and served on the ICF Slalom Committee where he was instrumental in bringing the Slalom and Downriver World Championships in Canada in 1979. He helped to establish the Minden White Water Preserve on the Gull River. The site hosted canoe slalom events at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games and Heinz was proudly in attendance. He will be remembered fondly by those who knew him and takes his place in history for his dedicated role in helping to establish whitewater racing in North America.

Photo of Canada’s first National White Water team – 1965, Spittal, Austria:  Ross Durfy, Heinz Poenn, Manfred Baur, Roger Parsons.