Four male kayakers in a boat

Simon McTavish


Though born in Canada, Simon McTavish represented Australia for seven years (2012-18) after moving there with his family in 2007. He competed in the green and gold until 2019 when he took the opportunity to return home after finishing his university degree to race in his native red and white. 

McTavish’s first taste of international competition came at the 2012 Olympic Hopes regatta in Hungary. He went on to compete at 2014 World Junior Championships and three editions of the U23 World Championships, highlighted by a silver medal in the K-1 1000m in 2018. It was also in 2018 that he won a pair of gold medals at the FISU World University Championships and made his World Cup debut. 

After winning the K-1 1000m and K-4 500m at the national trials, McTavish debuted for Canada at the first World Cup event of 2019 in Poznan, Poland where he finished fourth with the K-4 500m crew and made the B final in the K-1 1000m. At the 2019 World Championships, he was part of the K-4 500m team that qualified the boat for Canada for Tokyo 2020. In his Olympic debut, McTavish competed in the K-1 1000m as well as the K-4 500m.

A Little More About Simon

Getting into the Sport: Started paddling at age 15, following his older brother into the sport…Participated in a lot of sports growing up but stuck with kayaking because he loved the water and it has a balance of aerobic fitness and strength… Outside Interests: Graduated from the University of Sydney in 2019 with a Bachelor of Project Management… Earned a Bronze Medallion in Surf Lifesaving in Australia and used that qualification to volunteer as a Surf Life Saver in Sydney to give back to his community with the vital organization… Works as a sales rep for a sprint kayaking and sailing apparel company… Enjoys making and editing videos of his experiences kayaking… Odds and Ends: Biggest role model is fellow Oakville-born paddler, Adam van Koeverden… Favourite mottos: “If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?” –Joe Namath / “The real workout starts when you want to stop”…

Olympic Highlights

Games Sport Event Finish
Tokyo 2020Canoe/Kayak - SprintK-1 1000m - Men20
Tokyo 2020Canoe/Kayak - SprintK-4 500m - Men10

Notable International Results

Olympic Games: 2020 - 20th (K-1 1000m), 10th (K-4 500m)

ICF World Championships: 2019 - 14th (K-4 500m); 2017 *- 9th (K-2 500m) I

CF World Championships (U23)*: 2018 - SILVER (K-1 1000m), 8th (K-4 500m); 2017 - 8th (K-4 500m); 2016 - 8th (K-2 1000m), 8th (K-4 1000m)

ICF World Championships (junior)*: 2014 - 7th (K-2 1000m)

FISU World University Championships*: 2018 - GOLD (K-1 1000m), GOLD (K-1 500m), BRONZE (K-1 200m)

*with Australia