Gold Medal Connections <----->"pathways to excellence"
Joe Jacobi became America's first ever Olympic Gold Medalist in Whitewater Slalom at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain and competed again as a U.S. Olympian 12 years later in Athens, Greece. Today, as one of the industry’s top ambassadors for paddlesports, he instructs and speaks at numerous events around the world.
As a member US National Slalom Team for 20 years, much of Joe's training took place in his own “backyard” on the Ocoee River in Tennessee, home to the 1996 Olympic Slalom events. He is currently the CEO of USA Canoe/ Kayak.
Bob Campbell was an Olympic Team coach for both the 1996 and 2000 Games. He also served as the Slalom Team Leader in Sydney and was named US Olympic Committee “National Coach of the Year” for Canoe / Kayak.
Bob combines over 25 years of paddling and teaching experience into a personalized brand of instruction. He has developed a variety of educational programs for aspiring paddlers, including some close to his home on the Roaring Fork River in Colorado. His company Whitewater Parks International designed both the Sydney 2000 and London 2012 Olympic Slalom venues.
Tom Long is a noted authority on successful youth paddling programs and all forms of whitewater instruction. He has served as a US National Junior / Development and Regional Coach at various stages over the last ten years.
Tom is the Founder and Director of the Cascade Kayak School, headquartered on the banks of the Payette River just north of Boise, Idaho. Tom has 25 years of whitewater instruction and coaching experience and is a strong advocate of learning to paddle without fear. His captivating teaching style insures an easy transfer of concepts and techniques to all those he works with. Tom particularly enjoys teaching in Chile in Jan-Feb.
Chad Long is Head Instructor at the Cascade Kayak School and is one of America's great innovators in paddling instruction. When it comes to working with kids especially, he is the "pied piper" of the whitewater world. Chad is especially adept at explaining technique in simple terms, making aquiring new skills as easy as he makes it fun.
Kenneth and Tren Long (along with brother Chad) grew up paddling and teaching on the Payette River. Chad and Kenneth competed on the US National Slalom Team for many years in double canoe, while brother Tren was a member of the US Junior National Team in single canoe. They follow in their father Tom's dynamic instructional tradition, bringing their many years of paddling, teaching, and competing to the Gold Medal experience.
Anne Long (aka: "Smiley") grew up in another legendary boating family in New Hampshire - the Mitchells of paddle manufacturing fame. Her folks Dave and Peggy are accomplished competitors and instilled in their children their same passion for whitewater. Anne met Kenneth while they were still junior slalom racers - now many years and a few beautiful children later, Anne still embodies the same superlative paddling technique she did as a member of the US National Slalom Team.
Rebecca and Eric Giddens In addition to being the 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist and 2002 World Champion in women's slalom kayak, Rebecca also competed in the 2000 Olympic Games and is a multiple World Cup Gold Medalist. Besides being Rebecca's husband, Eric is a recognized master of the paddling arts. He was 12 year veteran of the US Slalom Team, a World Cup Medalist, and a multi-purpose Olympian, competing as an athlete in the 1996 Games in Atlanta, coaching both the 2000 and 2004 Slalom Teams, course designing in 2008, and commentating for NBC during the 2012 Games.Rebecca and Eric own the Kernville Brewing Company, which we frequent during our Kern River Camps each Apriil - they are both occasional guest instructors for our local sessions there.