David Ford of Edmonton has paid his dues in the sport of white water slalom
paddling and was rewarded with the gold medal in men's kayak at the world
championships last fall. The 33-year-old was the first Canadian to win the
world crown and automatically qualified for the Olympics with the win.
Ford has been a national team member since 1984 at the age of 17 and has
experienced the highs and lows of his sport. He won Canada's first World
Cup gold back in 1992 and has four career World Cup medals. He's been to
two Olympic Games however just before the Atlanta Games his boat was
crunched during air transportation.
"Winning the world title healed the wounds from my 1996 Olympic
experience," he said. "The World Cup medals and other strong international
performances always reminded me of what I could achieve. Now I'll be the
world champion heading into the Olympic Games. And I don't think I've
raced my best yet."
Ford competes full time in the sport and has numerous sponsors which he
landed on his own. "Most of those sponsors I've had since 1993-94 and
winning today is a real testament to what they've done for me. It makes
all the difference in the world."
Olympic champion Scott Shipley of the U.S., and Paul Ratcliffe of Britain
will be among Ford's toughest rivals at the Games.
Men's K-1 singles: David Ford, Edmonton, finished 22nd in qualifying, eliminated.
David Ford negotiates a gate
David Ford negotiates the course
Ford squeezes under a gate
2000 Games Canoe & Kayak Coverage