Bret Himmelman

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Canoe Kayak Canada
Bret Himmelman

Birthdate: March 2, 1998
Hometown: Hammonds Plains, NS
Canoe Club: Maskwa Aquatic Club
Sport: Men’s canoe
Coach: Jon Pike/Andreas Dittmer


Canada Games 2017 – C1 5000m Gold Medal
CANAMEX 2016 – C1 1000m Silver, C1 500m Silver, C1 200m Bronze


Instagram: @brethimmelman

Twitter: @BretHimmelman


First year on the National Team:

What are you most proud of?
Making this World Cup team
Objectives for the coming years?
Senior Worlds and Olympics 2020
Why was Canoe Kayak?
I joined the sport to get in shape for hockey when I was 15 and fell in love with canoeing.
Canoe or kayak? Why?
My club coaches steered me towards the decision to canoe and said to become a right because the club needed rights.
What is Canoe Kayak’s biggest challenge?
The challenge is starting off as it is intimidating learning the sport because starting off you tip a lot and for canoeing learning to steer is difficult but once you get around those barriers it’s easy to fall in love with the sport

Nickname: Himmer
Role model: Jordan Coyle
Favourite training: Crew boat training
Pre-race meal: Spaghetti with chicken
Post-race meal: Steak and potatoes
Off-season interest(s): Coaching high school hockey, hiking and exploring
Other sport(s): Lacrosse for Saint Mary’s University
Guilty pleasure: Pulled pork poutine
TV show: Trailer Park Boys
Movie: Any of the Rocky movies
Favourite quote: “Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up” – Rocky

Canoe Kayak Canada
Connor Fitzpatrick

Canoe Club: Senobe

Sport: Men’s Canoe

Coach: Andreas Dittmer

Canoe Kayak Canada
Roland Varga

Birthdate: August 6, 1990

Hometown: Aurora, ON

Canoe Club: Richmond Hill Canoe Club

Sport: Men’s canoe

Coach: Andreas Dittmer / Helen Savin

Instagram: @Sirlordroland_

Roland has participated at the World Championships, Pan American Games and is an 11x National Champion. His first year on the national team was in 2009.

His goal is to compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020!

Drew Hodges

Birthdate: October 13, 1993

Hometown: Ottawa, ON

Canoe Club: Rideau Canoe Club

Sport: Men’s canoe

Coach: Andreas Dittmer / Ben Tardiloli

Instagram: @drew.hodges


Drew Hodges started his paddling career at the Rideau Canoe Club. The club atmosphere and his friends are what made him discover his passion for paddling. Drew takes a lot of pride in wearing the Rideau purple singlet.

His first year on the national team was in 2013, the same year he competed in his first Pan American Championships, coming 4th in C1 1000m. Drew is also a Canada Games gold medalist, and a multiple time national champion. He came 6th in C2 at the 2016 U23 World Championships and 9th in C4 1000m in the 2017 Senior World Championships.

When not in his canoe, Drew enjoys spending time with his friends and family.


Describe the sport in one word: Family 

Nickname: Hodges

Role model: Gabriel Beauchesne-Sevigny

Favourite training: Cross country skiing

Pre-race meal: Chicken sub from Subway

Post-race meal: Pizza!

Off-season interest(s): Completing my business degree

Other sport(s): Football, hockey and cross country skiing

Guilty pleasure: Watches

Favourite word: Grit

TV show: Breaking Bad

Movie: Step Brothers 

Craig Spence

Hometown: Waverley, NS

Canoe Club: Cheema Aquatic Club

Sport: Men’s canoe

Coach: Laszlo (Csom) Latorovszki / Andreas Dittmer / Mike Kerrivan

Instagram: @craigspence_

Twitter: @CSpenceCanoe

Craig Spence started his paddling career at the Senobe Aquatic Club. It is there that he fell in love with the sport, and his competitive spirit eventually led him to join the Cheema Aquatic Club. Since then, Craig has been improving year after year.

Craig represented Nova Scotia at the 2013 Canada Games. He also raced for Canada at the 2013 Junior World Championships, Pan American Championships and World Cups. In 2017, Craig came 10th in the C1 1000m event at the U23 World Championships and 9th in the C4 1000m event at the Senior World Championships.

Craig is known for his great attitude and his strong work ethics. In 2014, he made a big jump and joined the Senior National Team after a strong race at National Team Trials in Montreal.

He is majoring in economics with a statistics minor at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Mark Oldershaw

Birthdate: February 7th, 1983

Hometown: Hamilton, ON

Canoe Club: Burloak Canoe Club

Sport: Men’s Canoe

Coach: Anders Gustafsson / Scott Oldershaw

Instagram: @markoldershaw

Twitter: @markoldershaw


Mark Oldershaw’s first year on the national team was in 2001 and he has been a dominating force on the international scene ever since. He competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics finishing 10th in the C1 500m event, and he captured the Bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games in the C1 1000m event. In 2015 Mark won silver at the 2015 Pan Am Games and at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Mark came 12th in C1 1000m!

Mark is a third generation Olympian and fifth member of his family to compete in the Games. His grandfather Bert, uncles Dean and Reed, and father Scott all competed in the sport of CanoeKayak, but Mark is the first of the family to win a medal.

Mark is also an 85 time National Champion, is an 11 time winner on the World Cup Circuit, was a double Junior World Champion in 2001 and a 2 time World Championship bronze medalist.


What are you most proud of? My daughters 

Favourite training: Canoeing

Pre-race meal: Boneless skinless chicken thighs

Post-race meal: Beef wellington

Off-season interest(s): Home improvement

Other sport(s): Hockey

Guilty pleasure: French fries

Superhero: Wolverine

Favourite word: Defenestration

Movie: Braveheart

Book: Catch 22