Laurence celebrates with a fist in the air

Laurence Vincent Lapointe

Biography

Arguably the best female canoer in the world, Laurence Vincent Lapointe’s Olympic dream began as an eight-year-old watching synchronized swimming on TV from Sydney 2000. She did that sport for several years before switching to canoe and since then has always hoped to see women’s canoe added to the Olympic program. After that addition became official in June 2017, her Olympic dream gained new momentum. She experienced her first multi-sport competition at TORONTO 2015 (where canoe events for women made their Pan American Games debuts) and won C-1 200m gold.

Vincent Lapointe first made her name on the international scene in 2010 when she won a pair of gold medals in the C-1 200m and C-2 500m at the ICF World Championships, the first year that women’s canoe events were officially included. She repeated those results at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships. Also in 2013, she became the first-ever U-23 world champion in the C-1 200m. In 2014, she won her fourth straight world title in the C-1 200m in world record time of 46.419 seconds.

Vincent Lapointe had to fight her own fears and insecurities after not only losing her C-1 200m title but missing the podium entirely at the 2015 World Championships. She took the summer of 2016 to study full time and reflect on what she wanted to achieve in the sport. When she returned in 2017, she was more ready than ever to win her races and went undefeated in the C-1 200m that season, including at the world championships where she also won C-2 500m gold with Katie Vincent.

At the first World Cup of the 2018 season, Vincent Lapointe set another C-1 200m world record with a time of 44.504. She and Vincent also put their names on the C-2 500m world record with a time of 1:53.513. Vincent Lapointe capped the year by winning her sixth world title in the C-1 200m and fifth world title in the C-2 500m, as she and Vincent lowered the world record to 1:51.428.

In 2019, Vincent Lapointe won C-1 200m gold at both World Cups she entered, while also taking a gold and a silver in the C-2 500m with Vincent. She was unable to compete at the 2019 World Championships after a positive drug test came back just days before the start of the event. She was cleared of all wrongdoing in January 2020 when it was determined that the trace amounts found in her sample were the result of third-party contamination and that she did not knowingly ingest a banned substance.

A Little More About Laurence

Getting into the Sport: Started canoeing at age 12 as a summer activity with friends… Had a lot of initial trouble keeping her balance but did not give up and after two years finally managed to stay in the boat… With improvement was able to appreciate the speed and power of canoeing… Raced internationally for the first time at the 2008 Pan American Championships in Montreal… Outside Interests: Graduated from Université de Montréal (Bachelor degree in Biomedical Sciences) and would like to pursue physiotherapy for her post-paddling career… Enjoys listening to music, watching TV series, doing manual projects such as painting and knitting… Odds and Ends: Role model is two-time Olympic canoer Dave Frost who helped her get into the sport… Likes to have something sweet and salty for her race day breakfast… Favourite quote: “Everyone is going to end up in pain at the end of a race. The one that will win is the one that will accept this and push over their own limits.”…

Notable International Results

Pan American Games: 2015 - GOLD (C-1 200m)

ICF World Championships: 2018 - GOLD (C-1 200m), GOLD (C-2 500m). GOLD (C-1 5000m); 2017 – GOLD (C-1 200m), GOLD (C-2 500m); 2015 – 4th (C-1 200m); 2014 – GOLD (C-1 200m), 4th (C-2 500m); 2013 – GOLD (C-1 200m), GOLD (C-2 500m); 2011 - GOLD (C-1 200m), GOLD (C-2 500m);2010 – GOLD (C-1 200m), GOLD (C-2 500m)

ICF World Championships (U-23): 2013 – GOLD (C-1 200m)