#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:


#4 Jessica Fox

“I do believe in the power of writing that goal down and sticking it up on the wall, for me it’s powerful” Jessica Fox

Canoe Slalom - Olympics: Day 6

Jessica Fox (@jessfox94) is a franco-australian women racing for Australia, Penrith, New South Wales. She is double Olympic medallist (bronze in 2016 & Sliver in 2012), 19 times World Champion (single and team event) at only 24 year old. She competes in kayak and canoe. Jess is also a Redbull athlete and 2017 World Paddle Awards Sportwoman of the year.

Her parents are both mutliple canoe slalom World Champions and Olympians. Her mother raced for France and her father fro Great Britain.

In that in-depth discussion, more than the canoeing skills, we discuss the growing mindset that allows her to learn fast. Jessica is an amazing role model that ticks all the boxes of meta learning;  how to learn anything quickly.

In this very inspirational talk, we discuss how she’s learnt to regulate her emotions to ensure a quick turn around between event to ensure she remains focus on task.

Jess also talk about the responsibility of being an Olympian and what it represents.
You can her at http://jessicafox.mli.st/

Enjoy the podcast!

You may want to listen to others Olympic medallists and Olympic Champion below:

#3 Denis Gargaud-Chanut, 2016 Olympic Champion

#2 Daniele Molmenti, 2012 Olympic Champion

#1 Peter Kauzer, 2016 Silver Olympic medallist and 2012 Slovenian flag bearer in London

#3 Denis Gargaud-Chanut

“I learn the tough way […] and I think it’s a good way” Denis Gargaud-Chanut


Denis Gargaud-Chanut (www.denisgargaudchanut.com) is French and he is the current C1Men Olympic Champion, a title he won in Rio in 2016. Denis has competed in both C1 and C2 from 2009 to 2011 alongside Fabien Lefèvre. He won Gold in C1M at the Senior World Champion in Bratislava as well as silver in C2M which makes him the first male athlete at that time, with Fabien Lefèvre to medal in 2 classes at the same Senior World Championship. Denis has also won a number of medals at the European Championships with in individual event and team event.
Denis lives in Marseille in the South of France with his family and travel to Pau, In the Pyrénées Range to train on the white water.

Besides being a World class athlete, Denis is also the CEO of Mulebar (www.mulebar.com), a company that creates “all natural” energy bars and gels.

Denis has started his paddling career at the age of 12, thanks to his cousin and has signed up into one of the most successful club in France, Marseille Mazargues Canoe-Kayak. Denis has always learnt the “tough way” as he likes to put it; Even if he had a joyful and positive childhood, he’d witnessed first hand the rough and unspoken rules in the streets of Marseille; an experience that later, he says, helped him to switch on the survival mode in competition.
Denis also underwent a rigorous training method dispensed by Albert Tobelem, the figure of the club and an icon in the french canoeing landscape. As Denis puts it: “training was about life and kayaking” and the rules were such that the least interested were forced to leave.

Later in the discussion, Denis opens up and share his internal battle against Tony Estanguet and how he dealt with it to move on and later become a better person. He shares his mixed feelings about his experience doubling up C1 and C2.

He also speaks about how he bounced back after his non selection to the 2012 London Olympic Games and how he wanted to approach his first Olympics and his relationship with his now first class coach Benoit Peschier.

As a true self made man, Denis gives away unconventional wisdom and advises to young paddlers (school teachers and parents please close your ears!). He encourages people to follow their gut feeling while listening to others at the same time.

At the beginning of the discussion, it takes us some time to find our rhythm and words in our second language but bear with us because Denis shares gems in an open and honest discussion.

Follow Denis online:

Website: http://www.denisgargaudchanut.com
Facebook: @denisgarhaudchanut
Instagram: @denis_french_olympic
twitter: @denisgargaud


If you enjoy listening to Denis you may want to listen to the following podcasts: