#9 Pierrick GOSSELIN

“My job is to be a Swiss knife to deliver tailor made solutions in a variety of cultures […] because the traditional European methods don’t work everywhere around the World”. Pierrick Gosselin


In his position Pierrick has worked with many people across the globe to develop the sport of canoeing.

This talk is not about medals but about spreading the love of the sport and building a wider base of canoe slalom paddlers across the globe.
With incredible and down to earth stories, Pierrick explains what it’s like to be dropped in a country and start from scratch; as he puts it, you need people that are Swiss knives to deliver tailor made solutions according to the specificity of the culture and people you work with. From the bamboo gates to the throwline safety rice bag, Pierrick believes that we all need to keep our “kids in Disneyland” spirit to be able to see opportunities in everyday life and be able to work with constraints to spark creativity.
We discuss the do’s and dont’s to build successful national development programs in those countries.

We also speak about the Talent Identification Program (TIP) and its evolution since 2010. He shares with us, the values of the program “Respect, Share and Be on time” and the challenges encountered along the road to uphold those values in a group of 16 athletes from 16 countries with various walks of life.

Because Pierrick believes it is all about giving back, the program has put in place a powerful “Return the Favour” program where TIP athletes are encouraged to help the canoeing community in their own ways.

Pierrick believes it is all about empowering people by giving an opportunity to shine. His refreshing talk, full of extraordinary stories is critical to remember that canoeing is shared my millions of people across the globe and that the bas of the pyramid is critically important.

Pierrick urges us to remind ourselves how lucky we are to do what we do and that we should all be grateful and happy for being part of that beautiful sport!

So please put your biggest smile on your face and listen to Pierrick Gosselin!

Julien Billaut

#8 Guillermo Diez Canedo

“I set up the environment to learn, we present the athletes a lot of tools and they have to choose which tools they want to use[…] I am a tool”. Guillermo DIEZ CANEDOguille-cover.jpg

Guillermo is Diez Canedo is Canoe Slalom the Head Coach at the Spanish Canoe Federation.
Guille raced for Spain at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Guille is still a young coach but has stacked up quite a lot of experience in the sport working in various countries such as Spain, Italy and Brazil.
During those years, he’s kept learning his craft; Guille loves coaching and he’s been able, in a unique Head Coach position in Spain, to create his dreamt performance system based on decision making on and off water.

That discussion is a great insight in a true Head Coach position and how to create a performing team of staff and athletes; building a daily training environment where athletes are forced to make decision and learn by themselves; because for Guillermo, Canoe Slalom is not about technique but rather about decision making in an instant.

You may want to listen to Jean-Yves, the Head Coach at the Russian Federation


#7 Thomas Schmidt

” As soon as you start thinking, you’re behind schedule, because all happens in real time” Thomas Schmidt


Thomas Schmidt is the 2000 Men’s Kayak Olympic Champion in Sydney. He is German.

In the podcast, Thomas tells a very inspiring story. It’s amazing to think that he got Olympic Champion only a year after a complete shoulder surgery. His story is one of love of the sport, dedication to a goal and trusting a small team around him. From surgery in September 1999 to the top of the Olympe in September 2000, Thomas discusses the process that led him to victory.

We talk about how an efficient forward stroke can give you the edge, there is an interesting piece on perfection VS frustration in training, putting together a strategy focusing on the effective things towards the Games.

In a true german engineering style, Thomas tells us about the way he designed his dreamt boat with amazing technology.

As a course designer, Thomas shares the challenges of delivering a quality course on benchmark event such as the Olympic Games and how difficult it is to deal with various external pressure from athletes, coaches, judges and media.

Listen to that inspiring discussion, you will learn a fair bit!

If you have enjoyed listening to Thomas Schmidt, you may want to listen to another Olympic Champion in the same class, Daniele Molmenti


#6 Ricarda Funk

“Success is not just all about winning and medals, it can be also just little things like… you have a smile on your face after your training session” Ricarda Funk


Ricarda Funk is a German Women Kayak athlete; she’s two times silver medallist at the World Champ (2017, 2015) and two times European Champion (2018, 2014). She’s also two times Overall World Cup Winner.

I was struck by the simplicity of her approach and the clarity of her progression in her career.
It’s all started for Ricarda on the River Rhine with her father, his brother and a good bunch of friends.
In that 60min discussion we spoke about her debut on the flatwater in a tough environment in winter and how it taught her resilience and positive mindset. She attributes her good fitness level and efficient forward to those years working hard with his dad on the basics.

Later, and thanks to his former coach Stefan Henze who tragically died in a car accident at the Rio Olympic Games in Rio, Ricarda discovered a totally new approach of training to canoeing. She could then fully used the body awareness she had learnt in her early years with dancing and making sense of it in canoe slalom. A new training philosophy was born for her.

Ricardo, as all great sport person, love her craft and that’s why she’s always happy to spend countless hours on the water.

Enjoy the discussion with Richard Funk.

If you liked the discussion with Ricarda Funk you may want to listen to Jessica Fox as well, one of the most successful female athlete in the world of canoe slalom

#5 Jean Cheutin

“Don’t fight against nature, understand it” Jean-Yves Cheutincheutin_podcast_cover copy


Jean-Yves is French and is the current Canoe Slalom Head Coach at the Russian Canoe Federation, a position is been holding since 2013. Before 2013, Jean-Yves was an Olympian in Men’s Kayak in Atlanta in 1996 and has coached in the French National Team from 2005 to 2012 in different positions as a class coach and later as the main coach of the training unit formed with Denis Gargaud-Chanut (Olympic Champion ) and Fabien Lefèvre (double Olympic medallist)

Jean-Yves has coached at 2 Olympics Games, in 2008 for France and in 2016 for Russia.

In this episode, we discuss the many challenges and learning he encountered to reach the ambitious goal of winning 3 medals with 2 athletes at the 2012 London Games.
We also speak about the different steps an athlete should go through to develop and become a high level performer and how it is important to develop skills, knowledge and ability to work with team in a useful time frame.
Finally, Jean-Yves presents part of his vision of the sport and what could be possible in the upcoming years if we were to collaborate better within the sport.

Jean-Yves is a deep thinker and therefore exposes ideas that could be challenging the statu-quo in a very thoughtful way.

Enjoy the Podcast with Jean-Yves Cheutin.

You may want to listen to Denis Gargaud-Chanut one of Jean-Yves Cheutin’s former athletes on the following episode: