Olympic Kayakers announce their retirement from sprint paddling

Alumni, Canoe Sprint
Posted By: Canoe Kayak Canada

Tokyo teammates Andréanne Langlois and Alanna Bray-Lougheed are packing up their paddles and announcing their official retirement from competitive sprint paddling following successful careers representing Canada on the world’s largest sporting stages.

Andréanne and Alanna have a combined 20 years of paddling experience racing at an elite level and even more national and international medals to showcase their successes. In 2019, the kayaking duo brought home gold in the women’s K-2 500m and K-4 500m at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

Alanna Bray-Lougheed (30) grew up in Oakville, Ontario and kick started her paddling career at the Burloak Canoe Club. She was named to the national team for the first time in 2015 after winning the K-2 200m and K-2 500m national titles with Lizzy Bates and going on to win multiple national titles in the years to come. In 2017, Alanna broke into the international scene, competing in both World Cup and World championships in multiple K-2 distances with Natalie Davison.

In 2019, she raced to gold at the 2019 Pan Am Games with Langlois in the K-2 500m, and helped the women’s K-4 500m team paddle to their third consecutive gold.

Alanna made her Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 where she competed in the K-2 500m with Madeline Schmidt and in the K-4 500m with Langlois.

“Making the Olympic team after a year with big ups and downs and having them postponed, was definitely a highlight of my career,” shared Bray-Lougheed. “But it was the training camps leading up to big competitions that are memories I will cherish the most. Joking around in the boat bays, completing a hard practice and chatting about it afterwards over dinner with teammates, and the feeling of working together towards the big goal.”

Hailing from Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Andréanne (30) first represented Canada as a 16-year-old at the 2009 ICF Junior World Championships. She continued to climb up the ranks to compete at the World Cup level in 2016. Andréanne qualified for her first Olympic Games in Rio finishing 8th in the K-4 500m and 14th in the K-1 200m events.

“My first Olympics is my most cherished memory,” said Langlois. “I had the opportunity to be surrounded by my heroes and idols. It was an amazing experience to be with people with so much experience. I will never forget it.”

She went on to compete at the world championships in 2017 and qualifying for Pan American Games in 2019, bringing home an impressive 4 medals for Canada.

In her second Olympic appearance at Tokyo 2020, Langlois reached the A final of the K-1 200m and the B final of the K-4 500m.

At the 2022 ICF World Championships, held in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, she wrapped up her paddling career with a bronze medal finish in the K2 200m final with partner Toshka Besharah – Hrebecka.

“The highlight of my career was winning a medal in my own country with my girl, Toshka. It was an amazing experience to share it with new eyes and be able to do my favorite distance with a friend. It was an opportunity of a lifetime.”

While both Alanna and Andréanne are starting new chapters in their life working in healthcare, they both intend on staying connected to the community that helped shaped them into the people they are today.

“I plan on staying involved in the sport in some capacity, such as a mentor and volunteer and I hope to continue competing at Nationals,” said Bray-Lougheed. “I just recently moved from Halifax to Toronto to start a new job as a Registered Dietitian in the NICU at Sunnybrook Hospital. I’m really excited to start a new chapter and know my time as an athlete will serve me well in this new career.”

CKC wishes Andréanne and Alanna all the best on their new journeys and look forward to seeing them on the dock cheering on the next generation of Canadian paddlers!