Some of the London Olympic spirit came to Burnaby Lake from Nov. 9-12 when three Olympians and two national team members visited to guest coach and train with B.C.'s sprint kayakers.
The camp was attended by more than 30 high level athletes from across the province, with additional coaches coming from their own clubs to assist.
The camp was hosted by Canoe Kayak BC (CKBC).
A trio of Fort Langley athletes - Ben Muench, Elliot Hoyt and Meghan Cheung - joined the Olympians twice a day to work on their paddling technique and speed.
They spent long hours on the water, averaging more than 20 kilometres in both single and team boats.
Olympians Mark Oldershaw, Hugues Fournel, and Brady Reardon, along with national team members Corey Hamilton and Mark Klevinas, joined the athletes in team boats.
One highlight was when the group travelled to Pitt Meadows to compete in the Loonies in the Boonies regatta, where the athletes teamed up with the Olympians in a friendly but intense competition.
Off the water, the guest coaches helped the athletes with goal setting and mental training as many of them are preparing for the Canada Games competition next summer.
This year was an exciting one for the national athletes.
Mark Oldershaw brought glory to Canada when he won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Summer Olympics in the 1,000 metre men's canoe. He is a third generation Olympian and the fifth member of his family to compete in the Olympics. Oldershaw brought his Olympic medal to Burnaby for all of the athletes to see and be inspired by.
Hugues Fournel competed in London in the K2 1000m and 200m races with his partner, Ryan Cochrane.
They had semifinal finishes in both events.
Fournel's father competed in the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics. His sister Âmilie Fournel went to the 2008 Olympic Games and was also the sole female on the 2012 Canadian Olympic canoe/kayak team, and competed in the 200m and 500m K1 races.
Brady Reardon raced at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the K4 1,000-metre race, in which he and his team placed ninth in the world.
This year he accompanied Olympic silver medalist Adam van Koeverden, as his main training partner in France, in the weeks leading up to the 2012 Olympics.
His father competed at the 1972 Olympics, also in a K4 like his son.
National team athletes Corey Hamilton and Mark Klevinas have won medals at World Cup, Pan Am, and international events.
For information on sprint kayak opportunities with the Fort Langley Canoe Club, visit www.fortlangleycanoeclub.ca or call 604-888-1986.
According to the Fort Langley Canoe Club (FLCC), the training camp was not only successful, and of value to attending athletes, but also a highly positive experience for the Olympians who thoroughly enjoyed meeting and working with the up-and-coming B.C. paddlers and coaching staff.
@ Copyright 2013