Canadian Olympic Preview: Canoeing

Laurence Vincent-Lapointe (Canadian Olympic Committee) (with permission)

Just competing for Canada at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021 has been a significant challenge for Laurence Vincent-Lapointe of Trois Rivieres, Quebec. For years it appeared Vincent-Lapointe would not have a chance to compete for Canada because her events (the women’s C1-200 metres and the C2-500 metres) were not part of the Olympic program. A six-time world champion in the women’s C1-200 metres, and a four-time world champion in the women’s C2-500 metres, it initially appeared that the luck for Vincent-Lapointe would turn around when the events she excelled in were finally included on the Olympic program on June 9, 2017. Or so it seemed.

In 2019, Vincent-Lapointe tested positive for ligandrol. She admitted not knowing how she got the drug into her system, and successfully persuaded the International Canoe Federation that an ex-boyfriend was responsible for contaminating her body. Then at the Canadian Olympic Canoeing Trials in Burnaby, British Columbia in March, Vincent-Lapointe was beaten in a race-off in the women’s C1-200 metres by her C2-500 metre teammate, Katie Vincent of Mississauga, Ontario. Canoe Kayak Canada requested a spot be given in the C1-200 metres to Vincent-Lapointe. They did not hear back from the International Olympic Committee regarding their request. Then according to Jesse Campigotto of CBC Sports, Canoe Kayak Canada was able to reallocate an Olympic spot to Vincent-Lapointe in the C1-200 metres from a kayaker who had less of a chance of winning an Olympic medal.

The C1-200 metres final will be on August 4 at 8:43 pm MT, and the C2-500 metres final will be on August 6 at 8:22 pm MT.

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