Adam van Koeverden has another shot at gold this year in Rio. Image by: Getty Images
Who's going to win gold at the Rio Olympic Games? We've got our eye on kayaker Adam van Koeverden.
Adam van Koeverden is a seasoned veteran in the sport of kayaking. The 34-year-old Torontonian is already a two-time world champion with four Olympic medals under his belt. In fact, he’s been on the podium more than any other Canadian paddler. Adam won his only Olympic gold in Athens in 2004. We’re watching closely to see if he can paddle to the highest level of the podium again.
5 reasons we love Adam van Koeverden
1. He proves that anything is possible.
Adam admits that he wasn't the greatest athlete as a kid, but he got started kayaking when he was 13 and his mom saw an ad in the paper saying: "Future champions wanted." Little did she know, that ad would actually change his life.
2. He is not afraid to take a break from training to help a good cause.
Adam's father was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease a few years ago and, ever since, Adam has been a vocal supporter of the cause, participating in fundraising events to help advance research into the often debilitating disease. He's also worked with David Suzuki to spread the word about water conservation.
3. He is full of hidden talents.
Most people know Adam for his kayaking skills, but he's more than an athlete. He graduated as valedictorian from McMaster University in 2007 and he plays the guitar when he's not on the water.
4. He is an ambassador of sport.
Between his athletic philosophy musings on his blog vankayak.com, his role as a sports analyst for the CBC and his steady stream of support for the Raptors on Twitter, Adam is a true lover of sport. He engages other athletes, cheers them on and inspires the next generation to get out there and give it their all.
5. He believes in the Right to Play.
Adam has had an active role in Right to Play, an organization that uses sport to enhance child development in areas where poverty is prevalent. After climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in 2012 to raise funds for the charity, the athlete visited Right to Play projects in Mali, Liberia and Benin, where many kids grow up without the chance to enjoy simple life pleasures like sports.