David is a former World Champion and World Cup Champion and is a five time Olympian in the sport of Whitewater Slalom Kayaking. In 2003 he was voted Canada's Male Athlete of the year.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Live Stream Interview with Sportscene

David Ford Official Web Site Blog

New Blog Post on my web site with the video footage from the Live Stream Interview with Sportscene Productions here in Australia.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Go along to Play along

This is the 12th January I have spent down here in Australia and it has arguably been the best January of training I have ever had. I owe a big thanks to Peter Kauzer and Americans Brett Heyl and Jim Wade as well as Italians Daniele Molmenti , Zeno Ivaldi and his father Ettore for allowing me to train with them and for making the sessions entertaining and challenging.

Even after all of these years on the river I am constantly amazed at how much we can learn from each other.

Tune in to Sprotscene on Facebook this Thursday February 3rd at 1 pm Pacific Standard Time for a live broadcast interview with Peter Kauzer followed by myself. If you have questions for Peter you can post them on the Sportscene Facebook page and he will answer your questions on camera.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Three weeks done, six to go.

The first three weeks of training here in Australia are in the log book and banked away. The weather has been very good for training and most sessions have seen no fewer than four past and current K1 World Champions on the course. This kind of fantastic technical training that comes with the Olympic course here coupled with the hard physical work makes for productive early season work. Something that I hope will pay dividends later in the season.

A big thanks to my Australian family the Buckleys, they have made me feel right at home as usual and settling into the routine of training has been very easy.

I am also happy to report that Kelly's recent surgery was a great success and she is already spinning on the bike. It is never a great option to have a surgery like this but the long term benefits will make this a great step forward.

As for me, I have been working extremely hard down here, trying to use this time to get in as much volume as possible before the hoards arrive in February. Attached is some video from the last session from this past week, I was a little tired from all of the volume but still having lots of fun out on the course.

One more week of heavy volume and then it will be time to switch gears with the arrival of the rest of the Canadian Team and the start of the race season.

As Kelly likes to say, bring it!

Don't forget to check out my blog on my new website, www.davidford.ca

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

New Year, New Sponsor, New Website...Same Old Australia!

With the Olympic cycle quickly heating up I find myself in Australia for a couple of months of warm weather training and racing. It is only a year and a half until the Games in London and it is time to get serious about preparation. There is nowhere in the world at this time of year that is better for training and many of the worlds best have relocated to the southern hemisphere for as many as four months to benefit from a great course, great weather and top notch competition on a daily basis.

My big news for the New Year is a new sponsor. Quantum Pacific Capital has signed with Kelly and I and will be a big boost to our respective programs. For me, with a potential for eight months on the road this year, having this kind of support will make a huge difference. Thank you Greg for your support of the dream.

I have also finally after six years of laziness done something about my painfully out of date web site. Glenn at Internal Wealth Studios did a great job in updating the look and getting some up to date content posted. Stay tuned for regular updates and blogs from around the world as I prepare for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


It was a beautiful day in Lake Louise for the final training run of the Women's Downhill. I am used to temperatures in the minus 20's so it was a balmy minus 3 at the bottom.

Kelly is finally back on snow and you wouldn't know watching her that she is still recovering from the knee injury that knocked her out of last winters Olympic Games. She is here working with CBC for the races and enjoying her first few days back on snow.

Today was bitter sweet as the joy of watching Kelly back in her world was tempered by the fact that today is the one year anniversary of my Mothers passing. I miss her every day but today is especially hard.

Back to the water on monday but for now it is a mental break and a visit to winter life.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


With the Olympic Games in London only a year and a half away it is time to start blogging again. Tune in for some very exciting news regarding my support team.

Right now the priority is fitness training to reinforce the base that I am going to need for the final push to London. The new year will once again be spent in Australia training and racing with the world's best. As has been the case for the past ten years this will be a great opportunity to build on the technique work and test the fitness against some of the fastest slalom paddlers from around the world.

More to come soon.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

BC Championships on the Rutherford Whitewater Park

The BC Whitewater Championships were held this past weekend on the Rutherford Whitewater Park, Canada's first and only purpose built whitewater park. The event was hosted by Canoe Kayak BC, Rutherford Creek Power and Innergex.

The event went off without a hitch and marks a milestone for Canadian Paddling. Kelly Vanderbeek put together a short montage on the weekends events and can be viewed on youtube at http://youtube.com/watch?v=0Fo242trjSQ

The course can be best described as Bourg St. Maurice meets Bratislava and is a fun and challenging track. There is no doubt that whitewater sport in BC is moving into a new and exciting era.

See you on the river!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Next Stop Beijing

Home at last for ten days before heading to Beijing for the Games. The past four weeks in Europe for the World Cup were tough mentally and physically. We made a conscious decision to train through the races this year and it made for some interesting racing. The points race was tight and I hung on to the top ten finishing ninth in the overall. I am happy with how I am paddling but still not race ready and it showed. It will be nice to start the taper and begin final preparations for Beijing.

Kelly made a video montage from footage she shot while she was with me in Beijing. She did a great job and you can view it on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zAIeDVMXJI.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Final Olympic Selection

The Pan American championships and final Olympic Qualifier are in the bag and it was an intense three days of racing. I was successful in earning my fifth Olympic birth but in retrospect going to selection directly from a training camp in Beijing might not have been the best idea I have ever had. The amount of travel and the intensity of training in Beijing made being race ready very difficult.

Still I was able to have solid runs and had a very consistent weekend. I was very impressed with the level of paddling displayed by the other Canadians, I did not expect that level of competition and I think it bodes well for the future of slalom in Canada. The days where I could arrive as I did this year without having done any race specific lactic work or really any speed work to speak of are long gone. The level has risen to the point where the Canadian National team trials are a formidable event that must be taken as seriously as any other major competition. This is a big step for our program.

Now it is time to buckle down and focus on getting into that ever important race shape, converting all of the technical work into a fit and fast racing mode. May will be spent working hard on strength, speed and the lactic system before heading back to Beijing at the end of the month for a technical camp. I am looking forward to sharpening the tip of the sword and seeing just how fast I can push the new model.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pan Am Championships

After a very intense week in China on the Olympic course I find myself once again in Charlotte North Carolina for the Pan American Championships and final Olympic Qualifier. The time on the course in Beijing definitely set me up well for the difficult conditions here on the Charlotte course, the river in Beijing is a monster and everything here feels a little bit more manageable. I am looking forward to the events.

Renowned Irish film maker Eoin R Speilberg produced a short video of me from our February training camp which you can find at this link. It will give you an idea of the difficulty here on the course in Charlotte.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Our most recent camp in Charlotte North Carolina ended with an international competition with athletes from Canada, the USA, Europe and South America. As always the course was challenging and there were many spills and thrills.


I was happy with my competition considering our priority is still squarely set on training. The volume was quite intense with all of our paddling sessions for the two week period being out on the whitewater. The gym work also compounded the stress on our bodies and by the time the race came around we were dragging our feet a little bit.


I have been struggling with my first runs in the early races this year so I wanted to be sure that I was as precise as possible and attack the first run. I have been working very hard with my coach Han Bijnen to create a solid platform to race from and while it was a little mechanical I was happy that I was able to execute the model quite well. I finished the first run in first place, right where I need to be.


Second runs saw the wind pick up a little and the fatigue set in as well. Still I had a solid run with one mistake near the bottom, good enough to take first place, my first win of the season. You can check out video of my first run at the following link:




Now it is a little time at home before heading to Beijing for a camp on the Olympic course before returning to Charlotte NC for the Pan Am championships at the end of April. I will be putting my head down and working hard to get some intense training done and in the bank for later in the year.


Sunday, March 02, 2008


I have just received a new boat from Galasport and I am amazed at how identical the cut is. I measured it against my other new boat that arrived in November and most of the measurements are identical and those that are different are only out by 1mm. I am curious to get them both out on the water and see how they feel, it will be hard to decide which one to leave in Beijing without really having time to test them both. It’s a good position to be in to have two great new boats to choose from.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Home again, for a night or two at least. Australia was a great camp despite the unseasonably cold and rainy weather and I feel like the work I did with Han was extremely valuable. Everything feels like it is moving in the right direction. Next up is a camp in Charlotte and then off to Beijing for a camp before returning to Charlotte for the final Olympic selection event and the Pan Am championships. Those frequent flyer miles just keep on piling up.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

World Series Race #1

2008 has started in earnest with the qualifier for the first World Series event in the bag. In the men’s kayak class 110 competitors started the race with no fewer than 5 past and present world champions and the reigning Olympic champion as well. It is by far the best World Series start line to date.


My day started with a solid run marred by one bad split section and a touch. I felt good during warm up despite the early 8:17 am start time but was not quite on my A game. Fabien Doerfler of Germany led the first runs and I was quite happy to have most of my splits on pace with his.


Second runs I was much more within myself and tried to go for controlled precision and had one of those effortless runs. There were a few places I probably should have pressed a little bit harder but I wanted to test the waters on my pacing model and stuck to my plan. I managed to move up to 7th place for the day and my time was good enough for one of the fastest on the day, in fact if you double my second run time it would have won the competition by over 1.5 seconds. Not a bad start.


Tomorrow is the semi final and the A and B final so it will be a full day of racing. I am curious to see how things will shake out.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Where is the sun?

While I must admit it is better for training, coming all this way for cloudy weather is not really the point. Still it is good to be training down here again with lots of really fast paddlers from all over the world. With the World Series starting here in only a couple of weeks it will be fun to get back into the competitive groove.


The course here which was used for the 2000 Olympic Games has been modified significantly taking advantage of the design features which allow for the obstacles to be moved quite easily. The course has significantly more texture in what I assume is an attempt to emulate the conditions in Beijing. Having spent so much time here it will be good to have a slightly different environment to paddle on.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Race 1

Last night was race one of the double header and it was held under the lights. The spectators were treated to fires lit on the river bank and John Hastings rocking the PA, it was a great atmosphere.

The first run was tough for me, I had some trouble adjusting to the lighting and my depth perception was a little out of whack. My second run was much better and I was able to move into second place. It was a surprisingly international field with paddlers from Canada, USA, Ireland, Great Britain, Chile etc.

Today is race number two and I am looking forward to some natural lighting.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

All is well, its summer here!

It seems that I have no long lasting effects from the car accident and training has been going very well. Today the temperature has gone past 25 degrees C and its still not even noon. Life out on the water is a lot of fun when its this warm in December.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Car Accident

Our first day on the course went by fairly well with the time spent acclimatizing to the river and the conditions. With the course only being on from 12pm to 5pm, the time between sessions is not ideal.


The excitement of the day came after dinner when on the way home we were hit by a driver who didn’t see us, wrecking both cars and shaking up everyone involved. The Toyota Prius we were driving did not deploy the air bags which is a little bit scary but thankfully everyone is okay if quite sore. I was in the back seat and didn’t actually see it coming and was lucky to be leaning to the side so I did not hit my head, Jim was not so lucky and took a pretty solid nock. I am curious to see how my body feels in the morning.


Back in the USA

Today is the start of another two week camp here in Charlotte. After the snow we had in Canada I am looking forward to warmer temperatures and some good training.


I will keep you posted and hopefully post a few pics as well.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Gold Medal Plates

What an amazing evening. Gold Medal Plates has become the must attend Olympic fund raiser and the sold out event in Vancouver surely demonstrated why that is the case. Twelve of Vancouver's best Chefs squared off against each other and the result was tasty indeed . The true winners of the evening however had to be Olympic athletes as the proceeds raised go to the Olympic Excellence fund which aids Olympians across the country in there preparation for upcoming Games. I was inspired by the enthusiasm in the room and had the opportunity to mingle with old friends and make some great new ones as well. I can't wait for next years event.