SSHoF logoCorrina Kennedy

Athlete (1999)


Corrina KennedyCorrina established herself as one of the stars in Canadian kayaking in the 1990s, twice winning gold medals at the 1991 Pan-American Games, winning two gold at the 1995 world championships and finishing strongly in the 1996 Olympic Games.

Corrina was born in Saskatoon on Nov. 30, 1970. She participated in many sports as a youngster, skiing, playing ringette and basketball and competing in the hurdles and high jump when Holy Cross was a power in track and field.

When she was 16 years old, she looked for an outdoor sports activity and found it in kayaking. Corrina wore Saskatchewan colors at the 1990 Western Canada Summer Games and won four gold medals and one silver medal. That was also the first year she won a Canadian championship.

Her first coach was Kryzstof Leplanka, who had been a world bronze medallist for his native Poland. Corrina's first experience at the international level was at the 1991 Pan-American Games at Havana, Cuba. She won gold in the K-1 200 metres, shared gold in the K-2 500 metres and picked up a silver in the K-4 200, an event memorable because he was presented with the silver medal by Fidel Castro. Corrina's greatest single day in kayaking occurred Aug. 21, 1995, when she twice won gold. She shared gold in the K-2 200 metres and in the K-4 200 metres.

Corrina was part of the Canadian contingent at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, where the Canadians finished fifth in both the K-2 500 metres and the K-4 500 metres. She enjoyed the closing ceremonies at the Olympics, an event she calls an overwhelming moment she will carry with her the rest of her life. Corrina was part of the Canadian team which won a silver medal at the world championships in Halifax in 1997, her final international medal before deciding to retire this year because of nagging injuries.

" From January to April we were on the water up to four times a day. I’m not an easy athlete to coach and so I’d complain to coach Tony (Hall). ‘I’m tired,’ I’d say. “Good,’ he’d say. ‘You’re supposed to be' " -- Corrina Kennedy