Every month between now and the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships we will be featuring an Athlete of the Month. This will be a chance to learn a little bit more about some of the world's best paddlers as they prepare for the biggest event on their sporting calendar this year.

This week's featured athlete is Frenchman Jeremy Candy, a K2 world champion and two-time K2 European champion. He was interviewed by ICF Athlete Committee chair and fellow canoe marathon paddler, Bridgitte Hartley.

How did you get into canoe marathon as a sport?

I come from sprint canoe, did a lot of national marathon races when I was younger, and in 2015 I decided to race only marathon, to try to reach the best place possible!

What do you enjoy about the sport? My former manager said that the only thing we can plan is the first stroke. Then, every race is different! I think it's this philosophy that I like the most in marathon. Tactical andtechnical, directly against your opponents, and yourself, all at the same time, during 2 hours+!

How do you keep your mind focussed during an event? Do you sing, plan your dinner, compose poetry? During an event, I try to be as close to the guy I am in my everyday life! On race day, | listen to some music that make me feel good, not being too much focused, just being relaxed and happy to live the moment!

Where is your favourite place to paddle in the world?

I've paddled in a lot of amazing places - Tahiti, China, South Africa, Argentina, Ardèche in France... But it's always nice to come back to the place I started, in Normandy, France! Where my club is..

Who are your sporting heroes, and especially in marathon?

I like old French sportspeople like Suzanne Lenglen, Marcel Cerdan, Alain Mimoun...

I really like the message that some sportsmen and women carried during history - Owens, Tommie Smith, Allyson Felix, and many more, using the power of sport to defend causes! In canoe, I enjoyed all races of Adam Van Koeverden and French sprinters like Sébastien Jouve!

And in marathon, of course, I can only be admiring of the careers of athletes like Hank McGregor or José Ramalho! Even if now, I race against them!

Canoe Marathon