PETER KAUZER (Slovenia) - Winner of the 2017 Sportsman of the Year Award
Sport: Canoe Slalom K1M
- Olympic Silver Medallist 2016
- World Champion 2009 and 2011
- Overall World Cup winner 2009, 2011, 2015
- European Champion 2010
Peter Kauzer is one of the most accomplished Slalom paddlers on the international circuit, having won a medal at every major championship. At the 2017 World Championships, after the fastest run in the field, Peter was handed a late penalty, which saw him slip into the bronze medal position. True to his style, Peter was gracious in defeat and still very happy with his performance.
Since starting the sport as a six-year-old, the now 34-year-old has become one of the most technical and consistent Slalom paddlers in the world. With this competition marking his 10th World Championship, and fifth World Championship medal, Peter was crowned as the 2017 World Paddle Awards Sportsman of the Year at the ceremony overnight. Whilst he couldn’t attend the event in Silkborg as he is in Australia preparing for the next season, Peter was very excited and humbled by this award (video message).
“I would like to thank my wife, who supports me for so many years and makes my everyday for me to focus just on what I do best, my dad, who is my coach since forever, to stand by my side and be there like for me like a safety switch, my physiotherapist Urban Komac, who is there for me every step of the way and who helped me to get over myself when I was injured and he is a guy who I can call a true friend. He is like all-in-one person for me. And for sure, my sponsors, who stand by my side even though sometimes it doesn’t work in my favor,” he said.
“I simply love paddling and I think I will never stop. There is a saying: "Doing what you like is freedom... liking what you do is happiness!” And if you have that in mind it’s not hard to get motivated after so many years.”
Using this passion, Peter is always searching for ways to improve his performance, which is what has shaped him into one of the best technicians.
“Once you start chasing the result and not focus on yourself and your run it easily can hit you from behind and not roll in your favor. Everyone must show what they know and than you just need to see where it takes you and if its not enough, study yourself and try to get better next time.”
With a fourth Olympic Games and another Olympic medal firmly in his sights, Peter is ensuring he leaves no stone unturned on his journey to Tokyo 2020. However, family always comes first, with Peter saying this will be his last training camp in Australia as his daughter starts school next year.
“Even though I said last year, before the Olympics, will be my last year on training camp in Australia in my career, I decided to go this year as well, because its my daughters last year in kindergarten and we can afford to go for so long. Once she in school it's harder.”
As a master of skill and technique and one of the most accomplished paddlers internationally, we can’t wait to see Peter continue to push the boundaries leading into the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and beyond.