First-year Vike Kyle Fredrickson made an immediate splash on the world rowing scene this past weekend, earning two gold medals at the 2018 Para Rowing International Regatta in Gavirate, Italy.
In what was his first international regatta representing Canada, Fredrickson and teammate Andrew Todd, a 2016 Paralympic bronze medalist, captured their medals in the PR3 M2- events.
“Kyle is an athlete through and through, he shows up to practice, trains hard and puts himself through the grind alongside his teammates every day,” said Vikes head coach Aalbert Van Schothorst. “The fact that he is thriving in a pair with Andrew Todd, who is also an incredibly proficient athlete, is a testimony to both these young men and their coach John Wetsztien, who leaves no stone unturned in the preparation he places in front of his athletes.”
On Sunday, the graduate of Shawnigan Lake School and his teammate Todd defeated the crew from Great Britain by three seconds to record their second gold medals of the regatta.
In total, Canada won three medals in Gavirate. Twenty nations were represented at this event including multiple medalists from the 2016 Paralympic Games and 2017 World Rowing Championships.
Jeremy Hall captured the bronze in the PR2 M1x event, marking his first appearance and medal on the international rowing stage.
“As a child, I was always told sport and hemophilia weren’t a match and that I’d have to find a different passion. All I ever wanted to do was participate in sport,” said Hall. “Wearing the red and white for the first time has been an incredibly emotional experience, never mind finishing on the podium. Leaving Italy with a bronze medal is a huge confidence boost and I look forward to what comes next.”
Tracy Van Asseldonk also left an impression in her international event debut, placing 4th overall in the PR1 W1x events.
“Gavirate served as great opportunity to provide the program and crews with a clear indication as to where they rank on the international stage,” said RCA’s High-Performance Director Iain Brambell. “There is an ongoing need for heightened training intensity to successfully compete against the world’s best at the 2018 World Championships in September.”
This regatta offered an opportunity to test four Paralympic Games events as well as five new Para Rowing events that will be raced for the first time at the 2018 World Championships.
Gavirate was the first international regatta where all Canadian Para Rowers raced 2000-metres. The International Para Rowing race distance was changed following the 2016 Paralympic Games from 1000-metres to 2000-metres
Canadian Para Rowing Team
PR1 W1x – Tracy Van Asseldonk, Delta Deas Rowing Club
PR2 M1x – Jeremy Hall, Edmonton Rowing Club
PR3 M2- Kyle Fredrickson, University of Victoria & Andrew Todd, Northstar Rowing Club