Mark is the fifth member of the Oldershaw family over three generations to participate at the Olympics in Canoe Sprint events. Recovering from nerve damage to his hand, Mark won a bronze medal in this Nelo “Quattro C1” at the 2012 London Olympics. In 2015, he won gold at this sport’s World Championships and is considered a strong contender for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games and the Rio 2016 Olympics. Many of the Oldershaw family are extremely involved with Canoe Sprint through the Burloak Canoe Club, as well as the country’s national team.
The Quattro C1 embodies the latest design elements in C1 (also called a racing single “Canadian” canoe). What a transformation from its original form! The design of today’s C1 sleek form may be as narrow as its paddler can manage while maintaining an upright position. Moreover, except for the long open cockpit and single blade paddle used for paddling this craft might even resemble a sprint kayak. However, in this sport the kayaker makes use of a foot-controlled rudder for holding their course, whereas the open canoe is steered entirely with the paddle.
The Canadian Canoe Museum’s permanent collection holds a rich selection of racing canoes and kayaks that reach back across 150 years of this evolving sport. Nineteen boats, ranging from 16 to 26 feet long, are currently displayed in the Museum’s latest exhibition “Skimming the Surface: The Unfolding Story of Sprint Paddling.” The exhibit explores many of the major developments in racing hull design and also the achievements and contributions to the sport that have been made by a number of Canadian athletes.