Caroline Queen Olympic Kayaker, Team USA

Caroline Queen first began paddling slalom at Valley Mill Camp in her hometown of Darnestown, MD at the age of nine. In 2006, then 14-year-old Queen attended her first U.S. National team trials, when surprised the slalom community by winning Day 2 of the competition. The following year, Queen began training with National Team coach Silvan Poberaj. With help from both Poberaj and former team member Joe Jacobi, she became the youngest woman ever to make the U.S. National team. She was also first boat on the U.S. Junior team. 2008 brought a whole new challenge for the second year junior, a shot at the US Olympic spot. She was again third in the Senior class and first among the Juniors, but she would have to be number one to earn her trip to Beijing. Although Queen did not end up with the spot, she had her best result of that year in the Prague World Cup in June of 2008, finishing 19th. Queen did not race in the 2009 season due to a severe knee injury that prevented her from attending the 2009 Team Trials in Durango. But post-surgery and recovery, she rebounded well, earning the top K1W spot on the 2010 National Slalom Team. Fast forward to June 2012, Queen will represent the U.S. in women’s kayak at the London games this summer.

Photo credit: Brett Heyl