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U.S. women's national sprint kayak K4 team seeks funding for 2012 Olympics bid Janet Francis | Mon, Jul 26 2010 03:43 PM

The sport of sprint kayak is poetry in motion, a dance of power and technique between the paddler, paddle and boat pushing through a body of water. The women’s K-4 kayak team of two-time Olympian Carrie Johnson, Maggie Hogan, Ariel Ferrar-Wellman and Emily Vinson is looking to show the world that it has the moves to bring home hardware at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

These women have the dedication and the skill; now they are hoping the community will get behind them and join their team. An event has been planned on July 28 at 7 p.m. at the Red Circle Restaurant located at 420 E St., in San Diego to act as a fundraiser. The $20 cover charge serves as a donation that includes a drink and appetizers. The money raised will fund travel expenses for the upcoming world championships and the 2012 Olympic Games.

An Olympic medal would help generate the interest and the funding to create the next generation of excitement for sprint kayak. “Kayak is a part of San Diego’s culture along with surfing, paddle boarding, outrigger and dragon boat,” Hogan said. “We want kayak to be there for the next generation.”

Making it to the Olympics requires a life dedicated to the goal. These women are resident athletes at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista where they live “Olympic Team 2012.” A typical day starts in the dining room at 7 a.m. for breakfast before a three-hour paddle and weight-lifting session in the morning. Then they’re back in the dining room for another breakfast before sharing some recovery time or taking advantage of other OTC services. Then it’s back on the water from 3 to 6 p.m., dinner and in bed by 8:30 p.m.

“We give everything we have every day,” Johnson said. “We put 110 percent into every stroke, every weight lifted, every practice.”

Two members of the K-4 team have strong ties to San Diego. Johnson went to La Jolla High School and is a product of the junior lifeguard program and the San Diego Kayak Club. She graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in biochemistry. Hogan lived in San Diego while in junior high school. Her father was transferred to Coronado to work with the Navy Special Forces Division. Hogan swam at the Coronado CNSA pool on the swim team. She now has a degree in behavioral neuroscience from UC Santa Barbara.

Recent transplants to the U.S. Olympic Training Center are Ferrar-Wellman and Vinson.

Ferrar-Wellman has her bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in political science from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. She also serves on a think tank for foreign affairs in Washington, D.C. Vinson, the youngest on the team, is working to obtain her degree in nutritional sciences.
Donations can also be made at www. member.usack.org/m_donation.aspx (choose woman’s K4 on the drop down menu). Also, follow the team on the Facebook Group: USA Women’s K4.

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