Born and raised in Ottawa, Spencer grew up paddling on the rivers of Eastern Ontario. Spencer was drawn to the challenge and thrill of slalom canoeing as a young athlete and excelled in the sport. He was named to the Jr. National Team from 2005 to 2008 and represented Canada internationally at the Jr. World Championship level. Spencer was a key member of the silver medal winning C1M Team event at the 2007 Jr. Pre-World Championships. In 2007, Spencer was named to the Sr. National Team for the first time. He competed at World Cups in both the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
Following the 2008 season, Spencer retired from competitive racing in order to focus on his education. He earned his BBA from St. Francis Xavier University in 2014. Upon graduation, Spencer began coaching his former club team in Ottawa. It was during this time that his passion for the sport was reignited. Spencer successfully made his comeback to the Canadian National Team in May of 2016.
Since his return to International Competition, Spencer has competed around the globe in two World Championships and numerous World Cups. He looks forward to representing Canada for the upcoming season.
2nd – Canadian National Championships, Kannanaskis, Alberta, 2018
32nd – World Cup 1, Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia, 2018
2nd – Canadian National Team Trials, Valleyfield, Quebec, 2018
8th – C1M Team Event, World Championships, Pau, France, 2017
2nd – Canadian National Championships, Ottawa, Ontario 2017
1st – Canadian National Team Trials, Kannanaskis, Alberta 2017
26th – World Cup 4, Prague, Czech Republic, 2016
1st – Canadian National Championships, Jonquiere, Quebec, 2016
FOLLOW THIS ATHLETE:
First year on the National Team: 2016
What are you most proud of?
Being able to represent Canada and travel the world doing something I love.
Objectives for the coming years?
To represent Canada at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Why is paddling the best sport?
It is a beautiful sport to do and to watch. It combines physical strength and conditioning with technique and the ability to read and understand the water. It is a constant challenge and a sport where you are always learning and adapting new techniques and skills. There is no better feeling than executing a move perfectly and feeling the boat glide through the rapids with ease!
Canoe or Kayak, why?
Canoe! Half the paddle, two times the person!
Why was your first race?
The Moira River Downriver Race in the spring of 2001. A race I continue to attend to this day.
What is your best memory about the sport?
Placing 20th at the Jr. World Championships in 2006. I had a great race and set a personal best result for myself. I paddled really well and raced to the best of my ability, it was an awesome feeling to do that for myself and for Canada. I still think back to that race when I need something to keep me positive and motivated.
What is the biggest challenge about your sport?
The unpredictability – the water on race courses is consistently inconsistent. As the water surges features can change and the currents can shift your boat, slow you down, and throw you off line. You need to anticipate changes and adapt on the fly, no matter how solid your plan is.
Describe the sport in one word:
Quote: “No matter who you are, we’re creatures of habit. The better your habits are, the better they will be in pressure situations.” – Wayne Gretzky
Role model: Jaromír Jágr
Favourite training: A hard loops workout in the morning followed by half lengths in the afternoon.
Off season interest(s): Training for the next season.
Other sport(s): Hockey, XC Skiing, Golf, Tennis, Vollyball, Snowboarding
Guilty pleasure: Chocolate
TV show: Trailer Park Boys
Book: The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Band: The Tragically Hip