OUR Alberta 2018 | Page 18

CALGARY CANOE CHAMPION HALEY DANIELS PADDLES TOWARDS THE TOKYO 2020 GAMES by Silvia Pikal Today the 27-year-old is a reigning Canadian Champion in women’s canoe slalom. Her big goal on the horizon is the Tokyo 2020 games. Until she gets to Tokyo, she savours each and every training session. “It’s a very free feeling,” Daniels says. “My favourite part of paddling is you get to be outside, and a lot of places you paddle are in the mountains — you get to be one with nature and the water. “It’s always different — I’m not going to a track and running in circles. I’m constantly challenged by weather and the water and rocks and logs. It’s an adrenaline rush. I love my job and I am grateful I get 18 to do it everyday.” It’s going to be a milestone in more ways than one to get to the games. When she’s on the road at a training camp, she wakes up at 7 am and makes her way to the course, where she’ll paddle white water for an hour, have a video debrief after the session with her coach, and nap and recover for one hour before completing another white water session. She’ll fit in weights and core, and end the day with stretching. When she’s home she’s still constantly on the go. Her schedule is packed from 7 am to 6 pm or later, dividing her time between training sessions on the water in Kananaskis, meeting with a physiotherapist, weights and core, stretching and, of course, the hustling required to be a full-time athlete — sponsorship meetings, seeking out new leads and planning her second fundraiser in 2019 to support her travel expenses to international competitions. On top of everything, she’s working towards a Bachelor of Business Degree at Mount Royal University, and trying to squeeze in an hour of social time in her day, too. “Although we are fortunate to spend our day conditioning our bodies — and for me most of my As an adventurous toddler growing up in Calgary, Haley Daniels loved playing outside. She quickly fell in love with paddling on Alberta’s lakes and rivers during summer canoe trips with her family.