A Five-Ring Tune-Up

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Outside magazine, July 1996

A Five-Ring Tune-Up

At least reigning C1 world champion David Hearn can joke about Michal Martikan, the Slovakian whiz kid who won the final Olympic-preview race last April on Tennessee’s Ocoee River. “You mean he’s still 16?” asked the incredulous fourth-place finisher, 21 years Martikan’s senior. Though he isn’t necessarily leading a new wave of paddling brat-packers, Martikan’s surprise victory
is evidence that the Olympic singles canoe race is up for grabs. Meanwhile, U.S. kayaker Scott Shipley continues to own the Ocoee course, which is substantially longer and harder than its Olympic predecessors. Paddling in torrential rains, Shipley won his third consecutive race on the new course.

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