North Carolina teen reflects on competing in the Olympics

North Carolina teen reflects on competing in the Olympics

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A North Carolina teen reflects on juggling between applying for college and preparing to win Olympic gold.


What You Need To Know

Evy Liebfarth, 17, was one of only 10 women to compete in the slalom kayak and canoe races in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Liebfarth is heading to Davidson College in January to study biology

She hopes to qualify again for the 2024 Paris Olympics


Evy Leibfarth, 17, is back in Bryson City after competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“It kind of hit me all of a sudden that like ‘oh my God, I’m at the Olympics,’” Leibfarth recalls as she watches her race at the Olympics on TV.

Leibfarth made history as the youngest and first American to compete in the new women’s canoe slalom C1 race. She didn’t bring home an Olympic medal, but she is proud of her achievements.

“It was seriously the best experience of my life,” Leibfarth said.

Leibfarth is also proud to be accepted into her dream school, Davidson College and also attend in person.

“I think Davidson is such a good fit for me,” Leibfarth said. “There are so many adventurous, outgoing, and motivated people there…I think it’s going to be a great community to be around.”

Leibfarth says another perk of going to Davidson is that it’s 30 minutes from the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

“I’ll be going there one or two times a day to do my workouts,” Leibfarth said. “I just need to set goals for school and goals for paddling.”

Leibfarth, who has been paddling since she was four, is already looking forward to 2024’s summer Olympics in Paris.

“Seeing…all of the athletes out there performing at their best and chasing a medal… made me want it more than I already did,” Leibfarth said. “I’m going to take that with me and push really hard in my training to get to the next [Olympics].” 

Leibfarth is taking a gap semester this fall to relax and continue training for other competitions. She plans to study biology when she gets to campus in January.

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