AUSTIN KIEFFER: US Team Trials
Twenty-three year old whitewater slalom kayaker Austin Kieffer is less than one week away from Olympic Team Trials which will be held at the US Whitewater Center outside of Charlotte, NC. Competition is guaranteed to be fierce in the k-1 division as the elite top ten scrap it out for the lone Olympic spot. Although this is not his first Olympic trials, Austin represent the new younger generation of racers in the upcoming competition as they line-up against veteran national team members gunning it out for the coveted National and Olympic Team spots. With a decade of training and racing under his belt, he is know well within the racing community for his incredible work ethic & dedication to his sport. Austin has been able to juggle the rigors of training and related travel requirements while being an honor student at Davidson College, a feat which has required him to burn the candle on both ends. I had the privilege to coach him as junior in Asheville, NC and it was obvious from his drive during after school workouts that he had set his priorities at a young age. Austin’s whitewater background as also transferred easily over to surfski paddling. Last August at US Surfski Champs, I had the privilege of racing surfski with Austin, who blast past me in the final thirty minutes of of the race with two weeks of surfski paddling under his belt. Though Austin is peaking for three days of two explosive 80-90 second races next weekend, he has already committed to switching gears in July and spending three weeks in a surfski in the Columbia River Gorge leading up to US Champs in San Francisco. Enjoy the action shots of Austin as he completes his final training regiment in preparation for trials and follow full Olympic selection results online.