Biography:

Adam van Koeverden is one of Canada’s most celebrated athletes thanks to his four Olympic medals – the most by a Canadian paddler. A bronze medallist at the 1999 World Junior Championships, van Koeverden went to Athens 2004 as the world silver medallist in the K-1 1000m. He won bronze in that event and a day later the 22-year-old captured gold in the K-1 500m for Canada’s first Olympic victory in canoe/kayak in 20 years. Canada’s only double medallist in Athens, van Koeverden went on to win the Lou Marsh Award as Canadian Athlete of the Year. After carrying the flag in the Closing Ceremony in Athens, he was honoured to be the Opening Ceremony flag bearer at Beijing 2008 where he captured silver in the K-1 500m. He added another silver at London 2012 in the K-1 1000m, an event in which he had won the world title in dominant fashion in 2011. That was his second world title, having won the K-1 500m in 2007, and part of his collection of eight world championship medals. In 2015 van Koeverden competed at his first Pan Am Games, winning K-1 1000m bronze on home water in Toronto.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents Joe van Koeverden and Beata Bokrossy… Younger brother Luke… Getting into the Sport: His mother signed him up at the Burloak Canoe Club when he was 13 after seeing an ad for “Future Champions Wanted”… Outside Interests: Graduated as valedictorian from McMaster University in 2007 with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology… Elected to the COC Athletes’ Commission in 2008 and is currently the vice-chair… Odds and Ends: Athlete ambassador for Right to Play and also supports the David Suzuki Foundation… Favourite quotes: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift” (Steve Prefontaine) and “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” (Kurt Vonnegut)… Nickname: VANK…