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Kayaking Athletes To Watch

Dustin Urban White Spacer 50px 2014 Henry Hyde
DUSTIN URBAN
Urban is a former Summer Mountain Games freestyle champion.

He moved to Colorado full-time in June of 2007 after graduating from Princeton University. He lives in Buena Vista with his wife Katie, son Heron and dog Hurley. He has been a member of the U.S. Freestyle Kayak team since 2001.

During kayak season he trains at the river park steps from his home. Throughout the rest of the year, he enjoys rock climbing and mountain biking.

You didn't know… Believe it or not, there is a "Dustin Urban Day" in Buena Vista in honor of Urban's bronze medal at the 2008 World Cup of Freestyle Kayaking.

DUSTIN URBAN'S SUMMER MOUNTAIN GAMES SCORE SHEET:
3rd Place - 2012 Pro Kayak Freestyle
1st Place - 2011 Pro Kayak Freestyle
1st Place - 2010 Pro Kayak Freestyle
3rd Place - 2009 Pro Kayak Freestyle
1st Place - 2008 Pro Kayak Freestyle

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HENRY HYDE
Why do I train for the GoPro Mountain Games? That's really easy to answer. Because almost everyone that competes in the kayaking events is a pro and really darned good! Seriously, you have to train to compete, especially at altitude. I try to do all of the kayaking events and I have to work hard for each of the events - except 8-Ball. That one comes naturally for me and nothing is more fun than laying out a little smack-down on my friends who think they can sneak by me. Last year I took a big shot from one of my 8-Ball mentor, Hobie. That kind of got my attention and I will be wearing my full-face all the time for the 8-Ball.

I'm doing some extra training in downriver. Last year I finished 17th in the Men. I expect to finish in the top 10 or better this year. Did I mention I was 12 then?

2013 Ken Hoeve

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KEN HOEVE
Every year I do the same thing. Start to run and train a few weeks out in hopes it will help. Give up the suds and ....... anything else that slows me down in hopes it will give me that extra bit to podium. Truth be told it hasn't worked and I havent been in the top three since Slade Cogswell and I won the Dash for Cash when the Games were still the Jeep Whitewater Championships over 14 years ago.

So this year, I decided to give it a real go. Now in my 40s I have introduced three of the Games most popular events. The Homestake Creek race, SUP race and the infamous 8 Ball. I have competed in all, but have never made the podium. Top 20 in the creek race and top 10 in SUP at one time or another but always the bridesmaid. Last year it was so bad I even got pummeled in the 8 Ball for the first time and swam. You probably caught that on the highlight reel. So I decided this year, its on.

Instead of starting 30 days out and going a couple times a week, I started 6 months ahead of time and am after it 5 days a week, two hours a day. Crossfit, running, river sprints, dry land paddle practice, swimming and eating way better. I have been paddling class III on my board since January 1st at least twice a week. The beer? Yeah..... that one is kind of tough since I am involved in Bonfire Brewing in Eagle. And we make good beer! So that one is still an issue. But other than that I want to move up the ranks. And I also want to compete in as many events as possible. SUP, kayak races, mud run are at least three I want to knock off. Regardless of the outcome, I also have a few athletes I want to beat this year. Even more motivation. 2013 Mountain Games are going to be awesome as they always are. I think I will be way more prepared this Go round'. We'll see in less than two months.

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RAFA ORTIZ

Ask any up-and-coming South American kayaker who their hero is and the likelihood is that you'll get the same answer: Rafael Ortiz. The Mexican has garnered a massive legion of fans with his aggressive, all-out approach and he can regularly be seen hurling his boat off 100-foot waterfalls and down the gnarliest of whitewater runs. Ortiz learned to paddle in Veracruz but honed his skills in Canada and in 2005 became the first Mexican ever to compete at the World Freestyle Championships.

It was daredevil Ben Stookesberry who introduced Rafael to the thrills of expedition paddling, a sport that has taken him all over the world. During a expedition in Veracruz in 2010, Rafael conquered the second highest waterfall in the world, The Big Banana Fall (42m).

In 2012, Rafael had one of the busiest years of his life, beginning with a 6 week expedition to New Zealand with Ben Brown, for the Red Bull Flow Hunters project. It was followed with a short adventure in Washington, US, where he managed to land the tallest waterfall ever dropped by a man, The Pallouse Falls with 57.6m.

Now a top international kayaker in waterfall, Rafael has been the star of Red Bull Chasing Waterfalls, a two-year project designed to discover unknown routes, rivers and of course waterfalls. He also embarked on a Red Bull US project alongside Ian Walsh and other legends, and can usually be found slaying whitewater around the globe.

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2013 What Are You Training For White Spacer 50px

SAGE DONNELLY
Carson City, NV

Sage is only 12, but has been competing in freestyle kayaking for half her life. She is an accomplished freestyle, slalom and creek racer and looks forward to competing in her 4th Mountain Games. Along with her winning smile and attitude, Sage is also a type 1 diabetic with celiac and thyroid disease and runs her own non profit jewelry making business and hopes to inspire others to reach for their dreams.

Accomplishments:
2012- Jr. Women's National Point Series Champion
2011- Jr Women's National Freestyle Champion and Jr. Women's National Point Series Champion
2011- Top Ten Sport's Illustrated Kid's Sportkid of the Year
2012-7th overall in Women's Freestlye, Teva Mountain Games
2009 to present-Women's Cub Cadet/Cadet K1 and C1 National Slalom Champion



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CHRIS BAER
Granite, CO

As an 8 baller, I'm always training, you got to stay strong. Crushing people and dreams isn't just a job it's a life style. Paddling 300 days a year and traveling around the globe in search of the most difficult and remote rivers creates a tuff competitor... enough talk time to do more CRUSHING! 

http://www.whereisbaer.com/2012/09/crushing-dreams-8-balling-at-teva-games.html

White Spacer 50px MIKE DAWSON
Past results: 2nd Sickline World Champs, 1st place Summer Mountain Games (2009), 2nd Extreme Outdoor Games (2009) 1st Voss Extreme Week (08) Extreme Teams World Champion (along with Sam Sutton, Jared Meehan)

Current mission: Racing on the ICF Slalom World ranking races around the world, and competing in Extreme races, while exploring some of the unknown rivers in the world.

MIKE DAWSON'S SUMMER MOUNTAIN GAMES SCORE SHEET:
1st Place - 2012 Down River Sprint
1st Place - 2012 Steep Creek Championship
1st Place - 2011 8 Ball Kayak
2nd Place - 2011 Steep Creek Championship
2nd Place - 2011 Down River Sprint
1st Place - 2010 Down River Sprint
7th Place - 2010 Steep Creek Championship
1st Place - 2009 Steep Creek Championship
2nd Place - 2009 Down River Sprint

Emily Jackson White Spacer 50px Blank Avatar
EMILY JACKSON
Emily Jackson is a five-time winner in the women's Freestyle Kayak event, was the Junior World Freestyle Kayak Champion and is the 2007 Women's World Champion. She is also the youngest female to kayak the Zembezi and Nile Rivers.

EMILY JACKSON'S TMG SCORE SHEET:
3rd Place - 2011 8 Ball Kayak
1st Place - 2011 Pro Kayak Freestyle
1st Place - 2010 Pro Kayak Freestyle
1st Place - 2009 Pro Kayak Freestyle
3rd Place - 2009 8 Ball Kayak
1st Place - 2008 Pro Kayak Freestyle
1st Place - 2007 Pro Kayak Freestyle
1st Place - 2006 Pro Kayak Freestyle
3rd Place - 2006 8 Ball Kayak
3rd Place - 2006 Dowd Chute Kayak Paddlecross
1st Place - 2005 Pro Kayak Freestyle
2nd Place - 2005 Kayak Big Trick

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2013 What Are You Training For

2013 Jeremy Rodgers White Spacer 50px Nick Troutman
JEREMY RODGERS
Ponca City, OK

Jeremy is a member of the U.S. Canoe and Kayak Team and elite adventure racer for Team Dart nuun based out of Seattle, Washington. When he's not working as the director of the Colorado Spine and Sport in Boulder, Colorado , he's traveling abroad to third world countries providing mission-based health care and kayaking lightly traveled river canyons. 

He and his fiancee Heather and Australian Cattle dog Mazzy travel to the Go Pro Games in a biodiesel burning solar and wind powered converted Sprinter Van promoting sustainable living and not taking life too seriously. 

Recent results:
2nd 2012 Vail Mountain Games Downriver Sprint
1st 2012 Vail Mountain Games Downriver Sprint
3rd 2012 Vail Mountain Games Rocky Dog Trail 5K (with Mazzy)
1st 2010-2012 Colorado Pole Pedal Paddle
1st 2011 Gravity Play Adventure Exstream Race Buena Vista
12th 2010 ICF Wildwater World Championships K1 Team
1st 2007-2011 Colorado River Race 
3rd 2006 Patagonia Expedition Race
Qualifier 2005 Raid Expedition Racing World Championships
Qualifier 2001 Eco Challenge Expedition Race

White Spacer 50px NICK TROUTMAN
Freestyle Kayak World Champion Nick Troutman hails from Canada's renowned Ottawa River. In addition to his world title, Nick is a multiple Canadian National Champion, an expedition boater, coach of Ottawa Kayak School's renowned Keener program for teens, and accomplished video producer. Nick's wife is women's Freestyle Kayak World Champion, Emily Jackson.

NICK TROUTMAN'S SUMMER MOUNTAIN GAMES SCORESHEET:
4th Place - 2012 Steep Creek Championship
2nd Place - 2009 Pro Kayak Freestyle
3rd Place - 2009 8 Ball Kayak
3rd Place - 2008 - Pro Kayak Freestyle
2nd Place - 2008 - 8 Ball Kayak
2nd Place - 2005 Kayak Big Trick

Rush White Spacer 50px Blank Avatar

RUSH STURGES
White Salmon, WA

Known internationally in whitewater circles as one of the world's most innovative kayakers, Sturges has travelled and kayaked in more than 30 countries. Since turning pro after winning the 2003 Junior World Championships of Freestyle Kayaking, he's maintained a current presence in freestyle competitions and down-river racing, while remaining on the cutting-edge of creek boating and expedition paddling. In 2005, he completed the first front flip off a waterfall, a move he named the "Hail Mary." And, in 2011, he logged a historic first descent of the Congo River's Inga Rapids, the largest found anywhere on earth. Sturges founded River Roots, one of the leading film production companies in whitewater kayaking. A former film school student, he's also produced and starred in seven award-winning kayaking films including Next Generation, New Reign, Dynasty, Source, Africa Revolutions Tour, Dream Result and Frontier.

AGE: 29
CURRENT SPONSORS: GoPro, Teva, Sweet Protection, Smith Optics, Toyota Ambassador, Werner Paddles, Tribe, Astral,

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Eric Jackson White Spacer 50px Steven Wright

ERIC JACKSON
Eric Jackson, the winningest kayaker in history, is a multi-discipline Summer Mountain Games winner, U.S. National Team member, Olympian and four-time and reigning World Freestyle Kayak Champion. He is also the owner of Jackson Kayak, a brand of best-selling whitewater kayaks, and has written a number of instructional books on the sport.

ERIC JACKSON'S SUMMER MOUNTAIN GAMES SCORE SHEET:
3rd Place - 2012 Down River Sprint
5th Place - 2012 Steep Creek Championship
4th Place - 2012 Pro Kayak Freestyle
2nd Place - 2011 Pro Kayak Freestyle
11th Place - 2011 Steep Creek Championship
2nd Place - 2008 Pro Kayak Freestyle
1st Place - 2007 Pro Kayak Freestyle
1st Place - 2007 Dowd Chute Kayak Paddlecross
1st Place - 2006 Pro Kayak Freestyle
2nd Place - 2006 Steep Creek Championship
1st Place - 2006 Dowd Chute Kayak Paddlecross
2nd Place - 2005 Pro Kayak Freestyle
3rd Place - 2005 Steep Creek Championship
2nd Place - 2005 Dowd Chute Kayak Paddlecross
1st Place - 2005 Kayak Big Trick

 

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STEVEN WRIGHT
Hailing from Reno, NV, Stephen spends his summer in Canada as coach of the Ottawa Kayak School's Keener program, the teen development program that has spawned the majority of Canada's national freestyle team members.

STEVEN WRIGHT'S SUMMER MOUNTAIN GAMES SCORE SHEET:
1st Place - 2012 Pro Kayak Freestyle
1st Place - 2009 Pro Kayak Freestyle
2nd Place - 2009 Kayak Big Trick
2nd Place - 2007 Pro Kayak Freestyle
2nd Place - 2006 Pro Kayak Freestyle

2013 Adriene Levknecht White Spacer 50px Blank Avatar

ADRIENE LEVKNECHT
Being a full time Paramedic is a hard job to have, being an athlete and a full time Paramedic is even harder. I am training for the GoPro Mountain Games to make sure that I can paddle up to my full potential. I only get a few weeks a year of vacation and this is one of them! I want to show the world that even though I have a "real" job, I can still go just as fast in a downriver race and just as high in a freestyle boat. YAHOO!!!!!!

ADRIENE LEVKNECHT'S SUMMER MOUNTAIN GAMES SCORE SHEET:
4th Place - 2012 Pro Kayak Freestyle
1st Place - 2011 Steep Creek Championships
4th Place - 2010 Steep Creek Championships
3rd Place - 2009 Steep Creek Championships
4th Place - 2008 Steep Creek Championships

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2013 What Are You Training For

Blank Avatar White Spacer 50px 2012 Dane JacksonWhite Spacer 50px

2013 What Are You Training For

White Spacer 50px DANE JACKSON
At 19, Dane Jackson has traveled to 49 of the states, Spain, Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Uganda, South Africa, and Mexico. He have been kayaking for 15 years now with dad Eric Jackson. He says, "I would not be where I am today if not for him. I live in Rock Island TN, I travel 6 months out of the year travel all over the US in an RV, traveling to events and clinics."

DANE JACKSON'S SUMMER MOUNTAIN GAMES SCORE SHEET:
2nd Place - 2012 Steep Creek Championship
2nd Place - 2012 Pro Kayak Freestyle
10th Place - 2011 Steep Creek Championship
3rd Place - 2011 Pro Kayak Freestyle
3rd Place - 2007 Pro Kayak Freestyle
7th Place - 2006 Pro Kayak Freestyle

2012 Martina Wegman White Spacer 50px MaxKarlsson

MARTINA WEGMAN
Martina is an all-around whitewater talent, with World Champion podiums finishes in both freestyle and whitewater racing. She successfully defended her World Title at this years Sickline Championships in Austria, and continues to impress the world with her growing freestyle and creeking skills.

SUMMER MOUNTAIN GAMES SCORE SHEET:
1st Place - 2012 Steep Creek Championships
3rd Place - 2011 Steep Creek Championships
2nd Place - 2010 Steep Creek Championships

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MAX KARLSSON

Hometown: Erie, CO


Max's 2014 season, his last a junior, was nothing short of sensational. He won every junior kayak freestyle event he entered, including the World Cup and the European Championship. He also competed in the Men's Pro class at the 2014 GoPro Mountain Games where he qualified for the finals and ended up in 5th place.

This season is Max's first as a senior and he wants to prove that last year was not a fluke and that he belongs with the best freestyle kayakers in the world. There is no better proving ground than the GoPro Mountain Games as it is one of the premier kayak freestyle competitions in the world.


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