Q&A with Olympic canoeist David Florence
Road to Rio

Q&A with Olympic canoeist David Florence

21 July 2016 / 08:21

Mathematical physics graduate David Florence is a two-time Olympic silver-medallist. He will become the first-ever Team GB canoeist to compete at three Games at Rio 2016.

Do you have any Olympic heroes?

“It would have to be Lukas Pollert. He was born in 1970. I liked his attitude. He had a different training method - always training on the white water – and he managed to do something else demanding alongside being a successful athlete – he was also a doctor.”

When did you first know that you were talented and could become a professional athlete?

“Probably as I was coming to the end of university and I was starting to get some good results. I've been very fortunate to get to pursue my sporting ambitions. It's the 1 thing I always wanted to do! It's fun to have such mastery of a canoe on white water.”

Do you have any lucky numbers?

“No, but I have a special date: August 8th 2008. It was my birthday and it also happened to be the opening day of my first Olympic Games.”

What is your target for this year?

“I’d love to win 2 gold medals in Rio and I want to get to the start line as best prepared as I possibly can be.”

What is your training regime?

“On a typical day I will start training at 8:25am and I do around 16 hours in total over the course of a week. And when I get to an event, I prepare myself by walking the course and mentally rehearsing it.”

What piece of equipment do you replace the most?

“I usually get through 3 paddles a year because I wear them down so much through training and competition.

How many countries has canoeing taken you to?

“I’ve competed in 16 different countries. Brazil is my favourite! It’s a fun place to go, and a really interesting country.”