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UTSC student wins gold at dragon boat championships

The Canadian National Team, foreground, races against Hungary in the 200-meter open event.

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 Championships 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 said.

The fifth-year anthropology and health studies student was a member of the Canadian Under 23 National Open Team that came in first in four events at the world championships in Szeged. The team won the 200-meter, 400-meter, 1000-meter and 2,000-meter races.

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

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


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