Tom Dollé (France) – Nominee for 2018 Junior of the Year
Born: 2000, Represents: France, Sport: Canoe Freestyle
- Gold - Junior World Championships Freestyle, Argentina (December 2017)
- 2x Gold Junior World Cups Freestyle
After two months of nerves and sleepless nights, French teenager Tom Dollé lived up to expectations with a world junior title at the 2017 ICF Freestyle Kayak World Championships in San Juan, Argentina.
The sport of canoe freestlye can thank Tom Dollé’s dad for introducing his son to the discipline. Dad had a kayak store in Lyon, France, and used to organize ‘demo-days’ to give locals a chance to try their hand at the sport.
When Tom was nine it was time for him to give it a go. Not surprisingly, he was a natural. “I tried one and I loved it, so he ordered me a fun one which is the smallest freestyle boat on the market and I started kayaking every weekend with my dad,” Dollé said.
Eight years on, and Dollé is one of the up-and-coming young paddlers the canoe freestyle world is watching closely. He’s still developing his arsenal of tricks, but most importantly he is feeling at home taking on the big guns.
“When I'm on the water, it's like my home,” he said.
“You don't think about anything, just about what trick you are going to do or what rapid/waterfall you are going to run and It's just amazing.”
Dolle is excited about the future of his sport. “The boats are going to be better and easier. The rides are going to be more consistent and the scores higher.”
“Freestyle kayaking has been growing really fast for the past 25 years and is going to continue growing in popularity. Hopefully, we will have more young and talented people that will keep the freestyle kayaking level up in the next five years.”
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