Adam van Koeverden started kayaking in 1995 at the Burloak Canoe Club in Oakville, Ont. at the age of 13. Now he is a four-time Olympic medallist and was one of the most recognizable faces of the Canadian Olympic Team at the 2012 Olympic Games. In London, he captured a silver medal in the K-1 1,000m one year after winning gold in the same event at the World Championships.
He was Canada’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where he won a silver medal in the K-1 500 metres. Four years earlier in Athens, van Koeverden captured gold in that event as well as bronze in the K-1 1,000 metres and was chosen to carry our flag at the Closing Ceremonies. His two medals in Athens earned him the Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s Male Athlete of the Year.
He has won 21 World Cup gold medals and captured the overall World Cup title each year from 2004 through 2007. In 2007, he went undefeated on the World Cup circuit and in 2008 he notched another five World Cup victories in Olympic preparation. Outside of competition, van Koeverden is an athlete ambassador for Right To Play, a humanitarian organization that uses sport and activity to help disadvantaged youth around the world. He is a graduate of McMaster University in Kinesiology, where he was elected class valedictorian.
Van Koeverden was one of six summer athletes elected to the COC’s Athletes’ Commission in September 2008 following the Beijing Olympic Games. He plays a key role in giving athletes a voice at the COC executive level and providing recommendations to the COC on a wide range of issues that impact high performance athletes.