JUNE 2, 1997
Juraj Osusky ranks 4th in the nation for his age group.
Photo courtesy of Karol Osusky.
by Mina Hochberg
Juraj Osusky of Kenmore has kayaked since he was two years old. Now, at 21, he is one of seven national kayakers representing the United States at the International Regatta in kayaking in Europe.
The team has so far finished a two-day competition in Amsterdam, where Osusky placed first in two races. They then traveled to Hungary for the second race, the results of which were not available at the time of publication.
Karol Osusky, Osusky's father and a former member of the Junior National Team in Slovakia, described this competition as good preparation for his son when he competes in the U.S. Nationals in Atlanta in early July, which determines who participates in the World Championship in Nova Scotia in late July.
Mr. Osusky has supported his son's progress throughout the years. Training in the Seattle area was very tough because kayaking is not a big sport here, he explained. Osusky joined the Seattle Kayak Club at the age of 12 and practiced twice a day for a number of years.
At the age of seventeen, Osusky trained for a year in Slovakia with professional trainers and mastered the technical skills of kayaking, according to Mr. Osusky. He then returned to Kenmore and graduated from Inglemoor High School, meanwhile training himself on the Sammamish Slough and working out in a gym.
Osusky currently trains at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, while attending Southwestern College as a part-time student. He was one of three kayakers in the nation selected to live and train at the center, after having undergone a qualification process. Osusky must qualify every year to stay at the center, where athletes are currently preparing for competition in the 1998 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
Osusky is a three-time Junior National champion, and has represented the U.S. in the Junior World Championship, World Cup, Pan American Games, and pre-Olympic regatta. U.S. Canoe and Kayak Team ranks him at fourth in the nation in his age division.
Mr. Osusky emphasized that kayaking is largely a matter of hard work, and encourages interested youths to get in a kayak. For details, call Mr. Osusky at 481-0407.