Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Athlete Profile: Adam van Koeverden

My first athlete page is dedicated to Adam van Koeverden.

Adam's blog:


Adam carried the flag for Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I wrote at the time:

The highlight for me definitely has to be when the Canadians walked in (isn't it every time?). I loved Adam van Koeverden as our flag bearer. I loved his enthusiasm. I loved the way he was waving the flag like if it was much smaller and lighter (as opposed to many flag bearers who let it sit in the holster). The mother in me was thinking - don't injure yourself - but as a viewer, I loved it.
He has won 3 Olympic medals.
  • Gold in the K1 500m in Athens 2004
  • Silver in the K1 1000m in Beijing 2008
  • Bronze in the 1000m in Athens 2004

In 2008, this is what I wrote on my personal blog:

"When I saw Adam's reaction with his hand on his face this morning after losing his race, I wanted to cry. He was so awesome all week. I woke up one morning this week relieved that I had only dreamed that he didn't win a medal in his race (seriously, I did). I thought it was inconceivable for him to not win two medals. I was in shock as I watched him fade at the end of his race. You could feel his pain and dejection as he was interviewed afterwards. He wore his heart on his sleeve especially when he looked in the camera and said "I'm sorry". You could see how devastated he was. This is one of the moments in this Olympics that has brought very strong emotions in me. There were such high hopes for him. He was one of our biggest hopes for medals. He knew it. The country knew it. I thought he could win a medal in his sleep (but would have to be awake for gold). I keep hoping that I'm dreaming (as I'm sure he does). Hopefully he puts it behind him and wins gold tomorrow in the 500. I refuse to believe in the flagbearer curse."

I was happy a few days later to post the following:

"I can't say enough about Adam van Koeverden. He is an inspiration when he wins and when he doesn't. He was so eloquent in his interviews. He wore his heart on his sleeve. On his website, he said that a great friend told him "Our time in the valleys helps us truly appreciate the views from the mountain tops". If he had been told before the Games that he would come home with a silver medal, he would have been disappointed. Having had a horrendous first race (for him), he truly appreciated the silver medal (eventhough he would have preferred gold). 
I found out he won silver before I saw his race (if I had been home, I might have woken up at 3:30am to watch it live). I felt so sad for him. Then I saw the race. He's leading by a lot. The commentators are saying he's going to win, then the others start catching him (I'm thankful that I know he won't win so I don't get overly excited or disappointed). Then the results come up. First to Australia. Second to Great Britain. His shoulders slump. I can see his disappointment (he later says he's scared he won't be on the podium and will want to go and hide somewhere). Then they remove Great Britain and put his name for silver. 
It was so great to see him happy with silver when the country expected double gold."

You can follow his activities on Twitter or on his blog. You can view the races from the link I got from his website at the time: It's at times like these that I appreciate the internet. A few years ago, we may have gotten results in the newspapers. Now, we can actually see the races.

I can't remember when I started following his blog and him on Twitter, but there was a time when I saw that there was an Adam van Koeverden Street in Oakville. I vowed to go there some day to see it. By chance a couple of weeks ago (May 14th), I was attending an event at the Oakville Club. As I'm approaching the club, I look up and see tthe Water Street sign that has been ceremoniously named Adam van Koeverden Street.

I love that my Mothers On Fire event has brought me to Adam van Koeverden Street, since they were instrumental on getting me to realize my dream to attend the 2010 Olympics.

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