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Introducing Larry Cain

Larry Cain is an Olympic gold medalist in the C1 500m and silver medalist in the C1 1,000m. During his 17-year national team career he established himself as one of the top sprint canoe performers in the world.

Born January 9, 1963, Larry attended Oakville Trafalgar High School. At age 11, he was introduced to canoeing and developed quickly as a paddler. "Undoubtedly the best thing to ever happen to me was coming across the Burloak Canoe Club (then the Oakville Racing Canoe Club) at the age of 11 in 1974. My first visit to the club has resulted in 38 years of paddling enjoyment, self-discovery, health promoting training, challenging racing and satisfying coaching that I still enjoy today.

He began competing in all disciplines of the sport just one year later. Coaches recognized that Cain had potential as a sprinter and he was encouraged to specialize in the 500 and 1,000m distances. "In 1976 I remember watching John Wood win a silver medal for Canada in the C1 500m at the Olympic Games in Montreal. I turned to my parents and told them “that is what I want to do”. With excellent direction from coaches and role models and lots of hard work I was able to make that dream come true."

He earned a place on the national canoeing team in 1979. Two years later, he became the junior world champion, the first Canadian in over 40 years to win a gold medal in canoeing at the international level.

Cain competed at the senior world championships in 1981 where he gathered valuable experience to be leveraged into competition at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. As the leader of the Canadian canoeing team, Cain fulfilled both his potential and his personal dream by winning a gold medal in C1 (canoe-single) 500m, the first Canadian to win a gold medal in canoeing since Frank Amyot's gold victory in the 1936 Olympics. Adding to his gold victory, Cain was awarded the silver medal in the C-1, 1,000m race as well.

Cain continued to compete and came fourth in the Seoul Olympics in 1988. He retired from the sport in 1996. "In a seventeen year National Team career I was able to compete in three Olympic Games, two Junior World and ten World Championships in sprint canoe as well as countless world cup events. Upon retiring from the National Team I raced dragon boat at 5 World Championships winning 7 gold medals. I also raced outrigger, completing 5 Molokai to Oahu crossings in OC-6 (top finish 2nd) and one in OC-1. Recently (September 2010) I have started paddling SUP and love it. It is like C1 but standing up and I have enjoyed some success in racing very quickly".

"I have had the privilege to coach at successful canoe clubs since 1996 and continue to enjoy sharing my passion for paddling with some great athletes at Burloak. We’ve been the best club in Canada at three of the last four National Championships. Working in such a successful environment and with some of the sports best coaches as my colleagues in the best learning environment one can have and I continue to learn new ways to express my knowledge of how to go fast in a paddled watercraft. Consider this site an expression of some of that knowledge".
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