Cutting it close seems to be the United States Olympic Canoe/Kayak team's calling card of late. The Olympic selection process is no different. The last members of the U.S. Olympic Canoe/Kayak team were finally chosen with just over one month until the games. This year's team is young and vibrant with an added touch of experience and gives us much to hope for both in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and well into the future.
1. Men's C-1 Slalom: Benn Fraker
At 17 years old, Benn Fraker is the youngest member of the Olympic U.S. Canoe/Kayak team. With a 3rd Place finish in the 2008 IFC World Championships, Benn is poised for a medal in Beijing. It's amazing that someone this young in a sport dominated by veterans is this good already!
2. Men's K-1 Slalom: Scott Parsons
Scott placed 6th in the Athens Olympic Canoe/Kayak K-1 Slalom event. Qualifying for the team back in the 2007 World Championships, Scott has his eyes set on Gold in Beijing. At 29 years old, he has the experience and maturity to make it happen. Scott is poised to bring home a medal this go around.
3. Women's K-1 Slalom: Heather Corrie
At 37 years old, Corrie is the oldest member of the U.S. Olympic Canoe/Kayak team. Surprisingly, this will be the first Olympics for Heather Corrie who originally hails from Great Britain. With a gold medal in the 2008 Pan American International and as the 2007 U.S. National Champion, Corrie has her sights on a first place finish in Beijing.
4. Men's C-2 Slalom: Casey Eichfeld
At 18 years old, you'd think Casey Eichfeld was a little green to be on the U.S. Olympic team. Paddling since he was 2 years of age, this Pennsylvanian far from inexperienced. He'll be paired with fellow Keystone state resident, Rick Powell.
5. Men's C-2 Slalom: Rick Powell
Recently turning 19, Rick Powell is another young competitor on the U.S. Olympic team with his sights on a medal in Beijing. Rick is no stranger to competition as he was in his first slalom race at the age of 3, sharing the open canoe with his mother of course. He'll be sharing the boat with fellow Pennsylvanian, Casey Eichfeld.
6. Men's K-1 500m Flatwater: Rami Zur
The 31 year old Rami Zur has the most Olympic experience from which to draw, competing in both the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. The California born Zur's life has included such events as being given up for adoption, serving in the Israeli military, originally competing on the Israeli Olympic team, and breaking his spine. Three time Olympian Zur is hoping that Beijing will yield him a medal this go around.
7. Women's K-1 500m Flatwater: Carrie Johnson
At 24 years old, Carrie Johnson is the only woman to qualify for a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Flatwater Canoe/Kayak team. After being diagnosed with Crohn's disease, Johnson placed 10th in the 2004 Athens Olympics. After racking up a ton of medals is various championships since Athens, Johnson is well-positioned for a good showing in Beijing this summer.