Tim Anderson was so frightened of kayaking some 20 years ago that on one occasion he paddled backwards on a miniscule rapid.
At Penrith Whitewater Stadium on Tuesday morning, he was announced as a kayaker on Australia’s Paris Olympics team.
Australian Olympic team chef de mission Anna Meares revealed two additions to the Paris 2024 team, announcing the selection of Anderson in the men’s kayak single (K1) and Tristan Carter in the men’s canoe single (C1).
“It’s incredible to be selected for Paris 2024. I’ve worked so hard for this for more than a decade. It’s really exciting to see that all paying off,” Anderson said.
“I remember one of the first times I got in a kayak, nearly 20 years ago, I was paddling backwards at the top of this tiny rapid on the Yarra because I was too scared to go down. A few tears were shed.
“To think I’m now going to an Olympics is pretty incredible.
“Thank you to everyone who has played a part in my journey. There’s so many out there. My family, friends and girlfriend are the biggest part of that. I hope they can feel as proud as I am to represent Australia at the Olympics.”
Anderson and Carter grew up in Melbourne but are now based in Sydney, where they train as members of Australia’s canoe slalom team at Penrith Whitewater Stadium, the venue for the sport at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Anderson, 29, and Carter, 25, will both make their Olympic debut in Paris.
Their selection announcements follow that of Olympic gold medallist Jess Fox, who was picked to compete in the women’s K1 and C1 in November.
“It’s so special,” Carter said.
“My family, my sister, mum and dad have been my biggest sponsors through my junior years and now they’re my biggest cheer squad, with my girlfriend.
“I wouldn’t be in the position I am now without the training group here at Penrith. Even though we’re competing against each other, we wouldn’t be where we are without them, pushing in training, lifting the standards.
“I’m very proud of where I came from in Victoria, my old coach Warwick Draper who is a three-time Olympian himself, all the people I trained with in Melbourne — a huge system of people that have come together and made me feel like I’m ready to tackle the biggest stage.”
The Paris 2024 canoe slalom competition will be held between July 27 and August 5 at the Nautical Stadium in Seine-et-Marne, just east of Paris.