Connor Taras, Sprint kayaker
Connor began paddling in 2001 at his local paddling club, Cheema, in Waverley, Nova Scotia. With some raw talent and the passion to succeed, Connor has been resetting his bar higher every year. He made Canada’s junior world team in 2005 when he was just 16. Two years later in 2007, he won the first ever crew boat medal for Canada at a Junior World Championships.
Connor’s progression was steep. In 2008 at the age of 18, he and his K2 partner surprised everyone when they went to Europe for an opportunity to challenge for a spot at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
In the year following, Connor would go on to compete in the World Championships in K-4 1000m. He also switched to the 200m distance when it was introduced to the Olympic program in 2010 and earned himself three medal winning performances at the World Cups in 2010, 2011, and in 2012.
With an open water win in the K-1 200m at the 2011 Canadian Pan American Games Trials, Connor earned a spot to compete for Canada at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. He competed in the K-1 200m and K-4 1000m. After back-to-back finals from the K-1 to K-4, Connor and his three teammates pulled off an exciting finish to earn a silver medal for Canada.
He has also earned himself some pretty impressive results nationally. With 15 national titles, he has also earned himself 7 nationals records along the way as well. In 2007 he was awarded the IKON sport awards TEAM OF THE YEAR. In 2012 he also won the RICOH sport awards MALE TEAM ATHLETE OF THE YEAR.
After a busy three years leading into the 2012 Canadian Olympic Trials, he faced off against the 9 fastest k-2s in Canada for the K-2 200m Olympic spot. Narrowly they finishing second, only 0.666 behind the first place crew missing out on the Canadian Olympic entry.