8 years after winning gold at Pan Am Games, Nova Scotian does it again
Alexa Irvin was part of team that won Canada's first gold at the Games in Lima on Sunday
Nova Scotia kayaker Alexa Irvin got a late birthday gift at the Pan American Games in Lima on Sunday.
Irvin, who turned 27 just over a week ago, and teammates Andreanne Langlois, Alana Bray-Lougheed and Anna Negulic, won Canada's first gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games, in the K4 500-metre event.
"We really trusted each other, in that last 100 metres we got ahead and it was a pretty great feeling crossing the finish line knowing that we had won," said Irvin, who is from Kentville, N.S.
Negulic is from Bedford, N.S., while Langlois comes from Quebec City, and Bray-Lougheed comes from Oakville, Ont.
Irvin said she started kayaking when she was 11 and has been racing for Canada since 2008.
This year's Pan Am Games is Irvin's second. She competed in 2011 in Mexico in the same event, where she also won gold, so "it was really exciting to get to do this again as one of the older members on the team this time."
GOLDEN news from Peru🥇<br><br>Women’s K4 500m are officially <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamCanada?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TeamCanada</a>’s first gold medallist at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lima2019?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Lima2019</a>. 🇨🇦<br><br>📸: <a href="https://twitter.com/CanoeKayakCAN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CanoeKayakCAN</a> <a href="https://t.co/DhKjqfOhmO">pic.twitter.com/DhKjqfOhmO</a>—@TeamCanada
When Irvin is back home in Nova Scotia, she trains at the Maskwa Aquatic Club in Halifax.
She encourages anyone interested in paddling to stick with it.
"Paddling is one of those sports where you're not going to have success after success. I guess it's like any sport," she said.
"You got to find what you really like about paddling, whether it's being with your friends, being out on the water and just keep working hard and the results will come."
Irvin and her teammates won in a close race over Mexico. Argentina finished third.
To celebrate, the Canadian team played foosball. Now, she and her teammates who are finished competing are exploring the area and working on their Spanish skills.
"It's been pretty tame. Most of our team is still racing today and tomorrow. But as more people are finishing racing, definitely the atmosphere is getting pretty excited. Everyone is really enjoying their time here in Peru," Irvin said.