“I was a bit of a late bloomer to kayaking…I was working up north inPilbara on the mines, driving a truck and listening to the London Olympics andthe men’s K4 1000 was racing,” Jaime said.
“I didn’t really know what kayaking was, but I knew a few surflifesavers that did this sport called ‘kayaking’… and all four in that boatwere surf lifesavers.
“I remember listening to the race getting really excited, and they endedup winning Olympic gold which I thought was so awesome.
“I suppose I made the connection going hang on a second…maybe I could goto the Olympics and do something as special as what they have done.”
Eight years on from listening to theAustralian men win Gold, Jaime has booked her own spot on the team for Tokyo2021 in the Australian women’s K4 1000m.
Surf lifesavers and ski paddlers havea long history of competing in kayaking at the Olympics and Jaime and herfellow teammates in the Australian Olympic Kayaking team are no exception, withmost of the team having come from surf lifesaving clubs around the country.
“I would say that ninety-nine per centof kayakers are from a background in surf lifesaving or have dabbled back intoit after having seen all of us come from such a fun sport,” said Jaime.
“That’s how I got into kayaking aswell, it was through surf lifesaving.”
While kayaking is certainly Jaime’sfocus for the near future, ski paddling and surf lifesaving will always play arole in her future.
“I’ve had a lot of achievement in thekayaking side of things over the past seven years, but I’m still only on oneAussies gold medal which hopefully next year we can make a change to that,”Jaime said.
“I’ll always be a paddler no matterwhat sport it is, but I do especially see surf lifesaving being a long part ofmy life until I’m basically in a wheelchair.”
To hear more about Jaime’s story and her journey to the Tokyo2021 Olympics make sure to tune into Episode Seven of Surf Studio on the SLSAwebsite and SLSA Facebook page.
SurfStudio is regular online show with each episode featuring stories fromaround Australia and covering a range of topics such as sport, lifesaving,leadership, education etc and Surf Life Saving Australia encourageseveryone to be involved. If you, or anyone you know has a story that youwould like to share via Surf Studio please email firstname.lastname@example.org