Descending from a culture where paddling and voyaging is instilled in your DNA has meant Olympians Ella and Bryden Nicholas have reached the heights in canoeing and kayaking C1 and K1 slalom events around the world.
And they’ve done it as proud Cook Islanders.
Now, the youngest of the Nicholas siblings, Jane is following in the footsteps of her brother and sister.
Bryden, Ella and Jane Nicholas have once again flown the Cook Islands flag with pride as they competed at the Oceania Canoe Slalom Championships over the weekend in Auckland.
Jane and Bryden both met Olympic qualification standards, meaning they will represent the Cook Islands in the C1 and K1 events at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics later this year.
In 2019 Jane Nicholas, who is a doctor, got the green light from the International Olympic Committee to change nationalities and follow in her sibling’s footsteps to represent the Cook Islands after previously representing New Zealand.
Ella Nicholas has competed as a slalom canoeist since 2007. She took part in the K1 event at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and in 2016 in Rio de Janiero. She was also the flagbearer for the Cook Islands at the 2016 Olympics.
She has recently launched a scholarship aimed at getting more Pacific Islands paddlers to the Olympics.
Bryden Nicholas began competing at international level in 2005. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero, he also represented the Cook Islands in the K1 event.
From the Canoe Slalom World Championships in La Seu D’Urgell at the end of last year, the only Nicholas brother said he and his sister were both very proud to be representing the Cook Islands.
“We are looking forward to getting out there and putting the training to the test.”