Liam Smedley

Birthdate: March 20th, 1995
Hometown: Dunrobin, ON
Canoe Club: Ottawa River Runners
Sport: Men’s canoe
Coach: Anthony Colin

Liam started paddling his first slalom canoe at age 10 and quickly moved into competitive racing. He claimed three junior national championship titles from 2011-2013. Liam transitioned to the Senior level qualifying for the senior national team in 2013, and has been ranked 2nd in Canada for the last three consecutive years.

A shoulder dislocation in 2014 while competing at the U23 World Championships caused a serious setback in Liam’s career. The injury forced him to miss the 2014 national team selection. The next step to return to the international stage was arthroscopic surgery, and a three month rehab in the fall of 2014. With a repaired shoulder, Liam returned to the national team in 2015. He won the ICF Oceania Open, then finished 21st at the U23 World Championships in Brazil and completed his first world cup circuit.

Today Liam is training hard with coach Anthony Colin to prepare for the 2019 season with goals of qualifying for World Cup Semi-Finals, and a Tokyo 2020 quota at the 2019 World Championships.


7th C1M | 2016 Presidents Cup (Krakow, Poland)
1st C1M | 2015 Oceania Open
2nd C1M | 2014 – 16 Senior National Championships
22nd C1M | 2015 U23 World Championships


Instagram: @smedleycanoe
Twitter: @LiamSmedleyC1


First year on the National Team:

Why was your first race?
National championships in Kananaskis, AB. (2005)
What is your best memory about the sport?
Summer race series Minden Open race in 2012.
What is the biggest challenge about your sport?
The constant changing puzzle. Every course has different gates, different styles of whitewater, and different challenges. It’s never the same twice!
Describe the sport in one word:

Nickname: Big Cat
Quote: If it’s all I can, then that will be enough (Personal motto)
Role model: Denis Gargaud-Chanut
Pre-race meal: Oatmeal
Post-race meal: Leftover oatmeal
Off-season interest(s): Coffee, sewing, photography
Other sport(s): Running, cross country skiing, climbing
Guilty pleasure: Not one croissant, but five
Favourite word: Volition
TV show: Parks and Recreation
Book: The Name of the Wind
Band: The Planet Smashers
Movie: Sing Street