Two-time Olympian Alyce Wood has announced that she will retire from top-level competition following the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Wood said she feels the Games will be the “perfect moment” to call time on her career with her young daughter Florence cheering her on in Paris.

The 31-year-old, who took a year out of competition after giving birth to Florence in June 2022, will be heading to her third Olympics after competing at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

She will become one of only three female kayakers to represented Australia at three Games as she prepares to race in the women’s K1 500.

“As a young girl, going to one Olympics felt like a pipe dream, and going to three felt like an impossible feat,” said Wood.

“So, to be now preparing for my third Olympics still feels incredibly surreal.

“As does the fact I got experience two of them with my husband (Jordan Wood) and now my third and final one with my daughter there cheering me on, ready and waiting for me after my final race.

Alyce Wood Szeged 2024

“When I gave birth to Florence my motivations and perspective changed.

“No longer was I paddling because I was good at it, I was paddling because of the joy it brought me.

“Sure, there’s been tough days, and I’m so grateful to my team for getting me through those days, but there’s been an overwhelming number of amazing days that I’m so grateful I’ve been able to experience with Florence by my side.

“And that’s why Paris feels like the perfect moment for me to call time on my career. With my family in the stands and Florence on the bank ready to give me a big hug.”

Growing up on the Sunshine Coast, Wood was 15 when she turned to kayaking to improve her surf ski paddling.

A multiple Australian surf lifesaving medallist, Wood continues to compete on the sand and in the surf but it’s on the flatwater where the world champion paddler has made her mark.

Her first taste of international success came in 2014, where Wood won bronze in the women’s K1 500 at the International Canoe Federation Junior and U23 Canoe Spritn World Championships.


In 2015, Wood and Aly Bull teamed up to win the women’s K2 500 at the ICF Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships.

Wood made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016 where she and Bull made the A Final of the women’s K2 500, finishing eighth overall.

Her biggest career title came in 2017 when she was crowned world champion in the women’s K1 1000.

In the years following, Wood won a host of ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup medals, including gold in the women’s K1 500 in Duisburg in 2019, women’s K4 500 silver in Szeged in 2018 and women’s K1 500 bronze in Duisburg in 2018.

Wood was selected for a second Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020 where she raced in the women’s K1 500 and women’s K2 500 alongside Bull again.

Perhaps her proudest achievement to date is becoming a mum to Florence in June 2022.

Wood took a year out of competition but with an eye to competing at Paris 2024 she remained extremely active during her pregnancy.

Since returning to elite paddling, Wood has been successful, finishing fifth in the women’s K1 500 at the 2023 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships to earn an Olympic quota for Australia.

Wood also won gold in the women’s K1 1000 at the recent ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Szeged.

Kim Crane, National Performance Director at Paddle Australia, said: “Alyce is the epitome of the elite athlete descriptor world’s best paddler and people.

“Paddle Australia and our wider paddling community have thoroughly enjoyed being able to support Alyce throughout her phenomenal career and we celebrate her remarkable individual achievements and growth.

“Not only has she been one of the most talented and committed athletes in our team over a long career, she’s been a truly impactful leader both on and off the water.

“I am as excited about supporting Alyce’s after sport career, as I believe she is a future leader in our system.

“For now though it’s our privilege to watch her finish it off in Paris as she delivers this one last performance for Australia, fueled by years of hard work, and pure heart and soul.

“We’re so immensely proud of Alyce Wood.”

Wood added: “It’s been such a privilege racing for Australia for so many years, but the time is right for me to retire and hand the baton over to the next generation.

“It’s such an exciting time for sport in Australia as we head towards Brisbane 2032, and I can’t wait to cheer our paddle team on over the next eight years and beyond.”

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