Historic Canoe-Kayak medals highlight Olympic House

Canadians gathered to celebrate Canada’s 12th and 13th medals of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Canada Olympic House in Trafalgar square.

Friends and family of Adam van Koeverden and Mark Oldershaw cheered as Canadian Olympic Committee President, Marcel Aubut, highlighted the history of accomplishments of the two sprint paddlers.

“Adam, you are certainly no stranger to the Olympic podium … you have your own page in the Canadian Olympic record books. And Mark, your family trophy case can add that most elusive prize: an Olympic medal.”

Scott Oldershaw, now the most decorated coach in Canadian Canoe/Kayak history, took the stage to express how he felt about both athletes, including his son, Mark.  “I just want to say how proud I am of these two, and thank you both for letting me be a part of the journey.”

Canada Olympic House was filled with energy as van Koeverden took the stage and praised Oldershaw (coach) for “teaching him absolutely everything he knows about the sport.”

Celebrating his silver medal at Canada Olympic House with friends and family was a special experience for van Koeverden.

“To everyone wearing red and white, we’re all part of the same family and it’s such a thrill to share this with you,” he said, becoming one of Canada’s most successful Summer Olympians in addition to being a two-time flag bearer.

History was also made for Oldershaw. His third place finish marked the first medal in the legacy of the Oldershaw family in the Canoe sprinting category at the Olympic Games.

“This is unbelievable, I guess dreams do come true,” he said. “I remember being in Sydney at the Canada Olympic House in 2000 when Simon Whitfield had his celebration. I was inspired by him and to think that I would be here someday, for it to actually happen, is a dream.”

Oldershaw expressed the support he felt from Canadians all over Canada. “All the tweets, emails and congratulations have been incredible. It gave me so much belief in myself.”

By Claire Hanna