The kayak was originally developed by Inuits, native to the northern Artic regions. Piecing together wood, bone and animal skins, the Inuit developed over centuries a vessel that was both quiet and swift, allowing Inuit hunters to stealthily come upon their prey.
Today, the kayak is made from modern materials like fiberglass, and the K-1 200-meter race has become, on water, the equivalent of the 100-meter sprint, on land.
Come the Rio Olympics, the heavy favorites for the K-1 200-meter men’s and women’s competitions are Mark de Jonge of Canada, and Lisa Carrington of New Zealand. They are both the current world record holders in this event.
Carrington has simply forgotten what it is like to lose, as she has been unbeaten for the past five years in this race, wining her fourth consecutive world title in the K1 200 meters last year in Italy. She is also the reigning Olympic champion, having won gold in the 200 meters at the London Olympic Games. Seeking gold in the 500-meters, Carrington could go on to become one of New Zealand’s most decorated Olympians in history.
Below at the 8:50 mark, you can see Carrington take gold at the 2012 London Games:
While De Jonge finished with a bronze medal in the 200 meters at the 2012 London Games, he is the World Champion for the past two years, the first man to do so in well over a decade. Below is video of de Jonge in speedy form: