Name: Lauren Ryan
Hometown: Evansville, Indiana
Sponsors: Jackson Kayak, Snapdragon Designs, Keen Footwear, Stohlquist Waterware, & Werner Paddles
You won the 2011 Worlds, does that up the pressure for this year’s worlds?
Well yes, and no. On one hand I know that I’ve won once before, but on the other I know that this year I’m defending my title. I don’t want to give it away, and I’d really love to earn it a second time.
What have you been up to since the 2011 World’s, has it been all freestyle training?
No, not really, I went on the freestyle tour in the summer of 2012, but since then I’ve been cross-training here in North Dakota.
Do you think having the experience of competing, and winning, in 2011 gives you a leg up on the competition?
Well I think this time I have a little extra knowledge and I’m not as nervous. I’ve been there I know how tough the training regimen is the week before competition, and I’m mentally prepared for that. I also know that preliminary rounds are just that, they’re preliminary. If all you do is make the cut, then that’s just fine as long as your best ride is in finals. Finals are what counts.
What’s your summer looked like getting ready?
Well my summer has been dull in the boating area. Which sounds like a tragedy but I’ve been doing everything I can, without actually boating in a freestyle feature to prepare for this event. I did the same bizarre training schedule last World’s and it seemed to work out alright…
How’s it feel to be defending your title in your home country?
I’m so excited to get back to the Nantahala. I’ve made a lot of memories boating there with my dad, and it was one of the first rivers I’ve ever ran. Going back to the Nanny for World’s makes me feel even more obligated to paddle my hardest.
How has your style and thought progressed in the last two years?
I think my boating style in competition has matured in a way. Mainly because of the fact I don’t plan on throwing my highest scoring move and relying on it to take me to the podium. I plan to be more strategic in my rides and in my training.