David Florence was the only one of the five British athletes selected to compete in canoe slalom in London 2012 to have experienced an Olympics before – winning silver in the C1 at Beijing 2008. However he will also experience a first having qualified in the canoe double with Richard Hounslow, three years after first choosing to combine the event with his individual aspirations.
Born in Aberdeen, Florence lived on Wester Coates Avenue in Edinburgh between the ages of seven and 18, then a mere street away from a young Chris Hoy, whose residence was on Wester Coates Terrace. Seeing Hoy win triple gold at Beijing 2008 inspired Florence to add another event to his repertoire in the form of the canoe double where he won world and European medals in his first year doing it.
Florence studied mathematical physics at the University of Nottingham and applied to be an astronaut before Beijing 2008 after seeing a recruitment advert for the European Space Agency. He won the overall World Cup title in the C1 in 2009 and in the 2012 World Cup series he has won two golds and a silver and is currently ranked world No.1 in the C1. His dad George was a former Scottish canoeing champion and his brother Fraser also competed internationally.
At the 2012 Olympics in London, Florence won silver in the C2 Canoe Slalom with partner Richard Hounslow.