Campus news

UTSC student wins gold at dragon boat championship

During his second year at UTSC, Victor Young spotted the booth for the UTSC Scartan Dragonboat Crew at Club Week and decided to give it a try. Today he’s a world champion, a member of the Canadian team that won four gold medals at the eleventh World Dragon Boat Racing Championship in Hungary last month.

“Racing with the best of the world is an eye-opening experience. I don’t think I’ve ever paddled that hard in my life,” Young says.

The fifth-year anthropology and health studies student was a member of the Canadian under-24 open team that came first in four events at the world championship in Szeged. The team won the 200-metre, 400-metre, 1,000-metre and 2,000-metre races.

In dragon boating, which originated in China, teams of 22 (20 paddlers, a drummer and a steersperson) race against each other in long canoe-like boats. “In dragon boating there is no key player,” says Young. “You have to work together in order to achieve something.”

He’s been on the Scartan crew since 2010, and this year was selected for the Canadian national team. At Szeged, the Canadians dominated, winning a total of 30 gold medals—well ahead of the next-best country, China, with 11.