Jasper & Len Morris Win Gold & Bronze at 2022 World Sprint Championships

Learn more about Jasper & Len and how they won gold & bronze medals in the 2022 World Sprint championships. Click play to view the short video, or read the transcript below.

Interviewer: Can you tell us who you are and where you’re from?

Len Morris

Hi, my name’s Len Morris. I’m from the Tsartlip first nation and I’m member of the geronimo canoe club.

Jasper Morris

And my name’s Jasper Morris. I’m also from Tsartlip and Nanaimo Snuneymuxw and I’m a part of the geronimo canoe club as well.

Interviewer: Can you tell us a bit about what happened over in the UK?

Len Morris

I was fortunate enough to represent team Canada. I did pretty good throughout the heats and the semifinals made it to the finals. And I came third. I won the bronze medal.

Jasper Morris

I was part of the solos and the V6 races, liked the solos a bit better. I think my outcome was a bit better. Semi finals did good, placed first in my heat. So I went straight to the finals, then finals. I ended up taking home the gold then in the other team races made it to the semis and the finals.

Interviewer: How does it feel to have won bronze and gold medals?

Len Morris

It was a great feeling, you know, like just to stand there on the podium and, you know, get to represent Canada and Jasper and I both held up the geronimo canoe club flag. That was just pretty amazing, you know, just training so hard and putting in all the work to accomplish that. It was an amazing feeling.

Jasper Morris

Not quite sure it hit me on the podium there until I stood up there. And the song was playing, was looking around and seeing all the familiar faces out there that I didn’t know that I knew, but also thinking about everyone at home, holding the geronimo flag, the W̱SÁNEĆ flag and the Canadian flag too. It’s always good.

Interviewer: Can you tell us about the training you did to prepare for this event?

Jasper Morris

Every day, got at least an hour on the water, then a good hour in the road every day. Then we had our traditional races almost every weekend throughout the summer. So that was really nice to train. If I would to guess it was probably around like 20 hours a week. It’s all worth it at the end.

Len Morris

Started preparing myself back in January when we kind of first decided that we’re gonna go and do this. You know, we’ve been pretty much distance paddlers up until this year. We thought we’d try the sprints. And you know, I started with a personal trainer back in January I believe, then a couple months after that I went and did boxing. Then maybe two months before the competition, I started Kickboxing, as well as time on the water. So I put myself through quite a bit for this. You being my age too. So <laugh> yeah, we both put in our time for this, you know, just to see it pay off as pretty awesome.

Interviewer: When you were there in the moment, did you know you were going to win?

Len Morris

There was two guys to my right that I was racing with one guy. Then the other guy was like, maybe not even half a boat length. So I was hoping just to at least catch him. Didn’t really look to my left. I could kind of tune everybody out and all the yelling and screaming and just focus on myself in the water. You know, I knew I was up there. I just didn’t know which place the outcome would be.

Jasper Morris

No, I didn’t think I had in the bag, but I was confident all my training I’ve done and had a little injury before, like two weeks off that was, not as much training as I’d like, my elbow was bugging me. But other than that, I was pretty confident in what I was doing. I thought it was pretty close.

Interviewer: Does winning these medals feel any different than any of your previous records & accomplishments?

Jasper Morris

Yeah, I think so. I think its gonna get looked at a bit more than my other records. Other records just stick around home. I think of it is more, you know, little stepping stones, but I think this is like the big end one that most people are gonna look at and recognize the most.

Len Morris

Yeah it does. I haven’t placed before on the world level. So, you know, just to come away with the bronze is pretty good feeling.

Interviewer: How many people were you competing against?

Len Morris

In the master 40 heat. I think there was between 25 to 30 to start. But when you have that many participants, you do, I think there was five heats of six, you know, you keep winning and you keep racing. So I think my first heat I came first, so I moved into the repechage. You come top three there, then you move on to the semi. So yeah, it’s pretty intense.

Jasper Morris

I think there was three heats of seven or six. So I’m guessing around 20, 21.

Interviewer: Where are your medals now?

Len Morris:

Mine’s still on my dresser.

Jasper Morris

<laugh> mine. I have um, some of my past medals. I have a little tack actually holding up a couple of them. Just the newest one on there I think.

Interviewer: Has anyone else from the media contacted you for an interview?

Len Morris:

Yeah. We did an interview with CTV last week I believe, and CHEK news reached out, but yeah, when we got back I got COVID so I wasn’t able to do an interview then.

Interviewer: What’s your advice to community members who might be thinking about competing at this level

Len Morris:

You know, just go and have fun with it, train hard, but also keep it fun.

Jasper Morris

Yeah. I think what my dad said is pretty true. To have fun with it, I guess the main key is if you can’t lose while having fun then what’s the kind of the point of being out there. Or maybe it’s always the first step too, always grabbing a paddle and going down to the beach. And after that, It’s the easiest to get on the water after that, but that’s the first step of getting to the beach first.

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