2012 FEMALE PADDLER OF THE YEAR: ADRIENE LEVKNECHT
AGE: 23/ SALUDA, NORTH CAROLINA
Award presented by barrier-breaking paddler, Risa Shimoda.
KNOWN FOR: Green Race dominance and freestyle chops.
THIS YEAR: Set a course record en route to her fifth Green Race title, capped that with a win at the Buena Vista Pro Rodeo.
WHAT’S NEXT: Lowering the Green Race record, competing in the Whitewater Grand Prix in Chile
Adriene Levknecht charges. In addition to her serial dominance of the Green River Narrows Race (she broke her own record last year), she just graduated college and got a job as a paramedic. This May she showed off her versatility with a victory in the Buena Vista Pro Rodeo, her first pro freestyle win. All this during what she calls a “low-motivation” year. If you want to see what she does when she’s fired up, just keep watching. After taking a “slightly devastating loss” in the 2012 Teva Games Steep Creek Championships—an event she won handily in 2011—Levknecht says her competitive spark is back. “I just have a fire to run Class V, and a fire to get other women to run Class V,” she says.