Jordan Wood is the action man of Australian Kayaking. Balancing elite sport with his work as a Lifeguard and his study with the Australian Paramedical College is a work load most would cringe at but Jordan wouldn’t have it any other way.
The 21-year-old is one of Australia’s brightest prospects in the Kayak ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics. He and his K2 partner Riley Fitzsimmons, who are the current U23 World Champions, notched a win in the K2 1000 over current World Championship silver medalists Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame at the recent Grand Prix event in Adelaide. On top of this he also picked up a silver medal in the K1 1000 behind Canadian Adam Van Koeverden, making him the first Australian over the line.
With training sessions scheduled up to three times per day, everyday, most athletes use their down time to put up their feet and recover for the next session. Not Jordan.
Upon completion of his morning training sessions he jumps straight in the car and heads to work as a Council Lifeguard. After work he has a bit of down time which he uses to read through some of his paramedical study material before heading back to training. When he arrives home at night, if he can still keep his eyes open, it’s straight back to the books.
Finding a healthy balance between sport, work and study is difficult but after enrolling with and being selected into the Australian Paramedical College, Jordan realised that achieving this balance was easier than he thought.
“When I finished school I wasn’t sure how I was going to juggle Paramedic study with work and kayaking, so I put it on the back burner for a few years,” Wood said.
On top of all of this Jordan has also just purchased his first house.
“Being an athlete is hard sometimes because we don’t really have a stable income as we’re away a lot but I’ve been working hard and saving for a house and I am so happy I can now say that I’ve achieved that,” he said.
“It might sound like I’m burring the candle at both ends but having things going on in my life outside of kayaking is what keeps me going. I think it actually makes me enjoy the sport even more.”
The Olympic selection process for the Australian Kayak Team begins in March at the Oceania Championships.