Ian Gaudet had a summer to remember in 2018.
He capped it off last weekend in Poland by winning three medals, including one gold, as he competed against the world's best young paddlers at the Olympic Hopes Regatta.
The 15-year-old from Dartmouth was the winner in the men's K-1 200 metres.
"I was pretty excited and it was an awesome experience to go over there," said Gaudet. "It's the first international regatta you can go to as a paddler."
Gaudet also picked up silver medals in the K-1 500 and K-1 1,000 in Poznan.
Came close to second gold medal
In the 500-metre race, he missed winning the gold medal by 0.088 seconds.
Another paddler from Dartmouth, good friend Craig Johnson, edged him out for the gold in the 1,000.
Winning the gold in the K-1 200, his specialty, is something he will never forget.
"The race was on the last day of the event and I decided to give it my all and just go as hard as I could," said Gaudet. "It was the last race of the season and it worked out pretty well."
A Grade 10 student at Prince Andrew High School in Dartmouth, Gaudet had a busy summer competing at several high-level regattas. He won 13 medals.
The member of the Banook Canoe Club has clearly established himself as someone to watch in Canadian paddling.
Contender for 2024 Olympics
Gaudet used to play minor basketball but stopped when he was 12 to focus on paddling. His long-term goal is to paddle for Canada at an Olympics.
By the time the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo roll around, Gaudet will be 17. But if he can continue to paddle like he did this summer, and keep up his hard work off the water, he could have a shot at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
"When it comes to the Olympics, for paddlers, they are usually older than most other sports," said Gaudet. "I certainly won't be going anytime soon, but, yes, I really do hope that I can make it to the Olympics some day."
He said he will continue training on Lake Banook until the water freezes.
He'll be part of a group of paddlers who will head to Florida to do a couple weeks of training after Christmas. He says he's already anxious for the 2019 paddling season.