The 2014 Canadian Dragon Boat Championships took place this weekend in Welland. The International Flatwater Centre played host for the 8th annual event.
Dragon boat is the essence of team work, dedicated athletes working in perfect symmetry all charging for the finish line.
About 2,000 people and 84 crews took part in the competition.
“I have diabetes and it’s all gone,” said Manny Directo, a 74-year-old racer.
Dragon boat is for everyone regardless of athletic ability.
“Dragon boat is accessible. The most dynamic sport. Twenty people in boat. No rock stars. Everybody’s got the same job,” said one racer.
“It doesn’t matter what your journey in life is. People say I don’t have big enough arms. You know what, anybody can do it,” said Jordan Morgan, a national team athlete.
There are hardcore competitive racers and then theres those who just want to be sociable and have a good time.
Directo says the sport keeps him young. He says he’ll go until he’s 80. He says age shouldn’t be an excuse.
“Come on over. I was one like that. I can’t do it. I have arthritis. I’m too old…like this,” he said.
The course will host events for the 2015 Pan Am games in July, and according to athletes, it’s world class.