Fri, September 20, 2013

Van Koeverden not one to count chickens

By CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency


Adam Van Koeverden has high expectations but he won't allow himself to get cocky about his medal hopes. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh


LONDON - Adam van Koeverden knows better than most that nothing is a given.

At the previous Olympics in Beijing, when just about everybody was conceding him a couple of medals, he finished a shocking eighth in the K-1 1000-metres and rallied for a silver in his speciality, the K-1 500.

The Oakville paddler had won gold and bronze in the Athens Games four years earlier in his Olympic debut, leading to the runaway expectations for Canada’s flag bearer in Beijing.

“There’s a difference between pressure and expectations. I deal fine with pressure. I haven’t dealt well with what I’ll call ignorant expectations. Not to suggest that anybody is ignorant,” said the 30-year-old. “What it is people who say, ‘oh, we heard you were supposed to get a medal, like the cheque’s in the mail?’ This is sport, it’s not how it works.

“Don’t think for a second that you can flip a coin or just guess, right? That’s why there’s betting in sports. You never know. I don’t count chickens. I’ve had lots of great races in the last 12 months, but I don’t deserve a medal more than anyone else just because I raced a couple of races better than some other guy. We’re here to race. I’m inspired to compete and bring my best on the day and forget about what happened two months ago or eight months ago.”

He will be a favourite again this time around in the K-1 1000 when heats and semifinals go Monday. The K-1 500 is no longer a distance raced at the Olympic competition.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

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