The woman Olympian continuing the series this week is Fiona Pennie. Fiona will be competing in her second Olympics this summer as a British slalom kayaker. She is by far the most experienced woman on the British canoeing team and has a good chance of bringing home a medal this summer.
Fiona got the taste for kayaking from her mother, an international flatwater sprint paddler, when she was very young. Fiona was taken on her first boat when she was just a few months old and began learning on flatwater when she was five, competing for the first time aged eight. She was encouraged to try out slalom racing by her instructor and became hooked immediately.
After that Fiona won a bronze medal at the Junior World Championships in 2000 and won the overall Junior World Cup Series in the same year. As an Under 23 athlete, she won a team bronze medal in 2004 and an individual bronze medal in 2005, both at the European Under 23 Championships.
Fiona then moved on to adult competitions and enjoyed even more success. She won two medals at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships with a silver (K-1: 2006) and a bronze (K-1 team: 2007). She also won three bronze medals at the European Championships.
Unfortunately for Fiona, she failed to get past the qualifying rounds when she went to Beijing in 2008, but I’m sure that this will inspire her to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again in London.