Nouria Newman: Exceptionally Talented French slalom canoeist Reveals her
Success Mantra "Do what you love, Believe in yourself and Follow your dreams"
Newman is a French slalom canoeist who has competed since the late 2000s. She
won two medals at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships with a gold in 2014
(K-1 team) and a silver in 2013 (K-1). She also won a bronze medal in the K-1
team event at the 2014 European Championships in Vienna.
French kayaker Nouria Newman had one of her two successful runs through Site
Zed, the largest signature rapid on the Grand Canyon of the Stikine. Though
Newman ran the rapid on back-to-back descents of the 45-mile canyon gauntlet,
her first run of Site Zed during a one-day descent marks the first time that a
woman has kayaked the entire canyon without portage, one decade after New
Zealandís Nikki Kelly became the first female to kayak the storied section of
whitewater regarded as one of expedition paddlingís
Newman, at 23, has already made her mark in slalom (finished 2013 ranked 14th in
the world in womenís K-1) as well as in downriver creek racing and finished 2013
as reigning Whitewater Grand Prix champion, Adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World
Championship winner, and recipient of the Canoe & Kayak Awardsí Female Paddler
of the Year award. Now she can add her name to the list of expedition kayaking
ďWhen you commit to it thereís no way you can turn back,Ē Newman says of Site
Zed after describing all the elements coming together on the recent one-day
descent with Jules Domine and Mountain Mind Collectiveís Brendan and Todd Wells.
ďAll the conditions were there for me to run it and I felt really good about
Achievements of Nouria Newman
Gold Medal in ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships 2014 (K-1 team)
Extreme Kayaking World Champion Oetz, Austria 2013
Female Paddler of the Year Award as voted by Canoe & Kayak magazine 2013
Slalom: 2nd World Championships Individual Senior Prague, Czech Republic 2013
Slalom: 2nd European Championships least 23 individual Bourg-Saint-Maurice,
Freestyle: Vainqueure of Ottawa XL Canada 2013
Extreme Kayaking: Whitewater Grand Prix Vainqueure Chile 2012
Freestyle: Rider of the Year Award (Best Trick Women) 2012
Best trick women 2012
1st Place: Whitewater Grand Prix Chile 2012
1st Place: Voss Extreme Week Norway 2012
Four-time French National Champion - Slalom 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009
Freestyle: Junior World Champion Thun, Switzerland 2009
Nouria Newman is an exceptionally talented french slalom canoeist. She is winner
of gold medal at ICF Canoe Slalom World Championship in 2014 (K-1 team). She is
in conversation with Namita Nayyar President Women Fitness. Ms. Namita Nayyar: You started kayaking when you were 5 years old. You did your
first competition at 7. When at 9 years of age you learned how to roll and
became more confident. Then you slowly discovered whitewater in all its form
starting river running, freestyle and extreme kayaking. You reached the pinnacle
of success when you won in 2013 Extreme Kayaking World Champion at Oetz,
Austria, and placed 2nd at Slalom World Championships. Tell us about your
journey that took you to where you are now in the world of kayaking and as a
Ms. Nouria Newman: When I was 5 I wanted to kayak because someone came at our
home with a plastic kayak and I thought it was a big playmobil toy. Kayaking was
just a game. It was also a great adventure. I remember exploring the local lake
(it seemed so big at the time), leaving my parents to go camping with the kayak
club, rappeling down to get to my first big river trip, make a fire, cook
pasta...Then I started competing.
At first I wanted to win races to get some presents at the award ceremony.
Slowly I became more competitive I was no longer doing it for a medal and a bag
of candies. I was always trying to get better, setting up goals, dealing with
race pressure...In the meanwhile I learned how to roll, improved my technique
and my whitewater abilities. The game rules changed. I was not only playing with
other kids anymore, but I started playing with the water, feel itís power,
overcome fears, getting adrenaline rush when running big rapids...As a result
kayaking to me isnít just a sport in which I compete, itís also a game and a
great adventure. I love it !
Ms. Namita Nayyar: You have selected a sports of slalom canoeist, freestyle and
extreme kayaking that requires a lot of hard labor, technical soundness and
excellence in different faculties to finally succeed, how do you achieve that?
Ms. Nouria Newman: When I was younger. Some people told me I wouldnít be able to
succeed if I kept trying to do everything at the same time. First I had to
choose between slalom and freestyle, then between sport and studying at Sciences
Po Toulouse. The truth is that I wasnít able to make these choices so I ended up
doing different things I love. Itís not always easy, Iím not sure if I will
achieve all my goals. Maybe theyíre right. Maybe you canít do everything but I
think itís worth trying. How could you overcome the element of fear in extreme
kayaking as a sport?
Ms. Namita Nayyar: How could you overcome the element of fear in extreme
kayaking as a sport?
Ms. Nouria Newman: First I only run a rapid when Iím confident. When I can see
the line and picture myself doing it properly. If I donít feel it I donít do it.
But even if I know that I can make it, I also know that things donít always go
as planned. Like any other extreme sport, itís always a little risky. When I
decide to run a big rapid Iím never terrorized : I know I can do it, but Iím
also aware of the risks. Iím confident enough to avoid beeing too nervious but
Iím also a little scared and itís a good thing because it keeps me on your A
game. Before dropping in I usually take a few seconds to focus on my line, I
take the time to enjoy the scenery when Iím in some incredible places, sometimes
I close my eyes to hear the river and feel the water better, I take some deep
breathes and when Iím ready I go.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: What exercises comprise your fitness regime or workout
routine you shall like to share?
Ms. Nouria Newman: I paddle almost everyday but I also run and I do some core
workouts. When Iíve got time I also like to do some other outdoor sports (ski
touring, mountain bike, climbing, hiking...). I never did a lot of weight
lifting workouts but I think I will start doing it more in a near future to
prevent injuries, gain power and hopefully go faster.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: Do you take some special diet or have a strict menu that you
follow to remain healthy and physically fit?
Ms. Nouria Newman: I donít have a special diet. I eat a little bit of everything
and avoid junk food (but I love chocolate !).
Ms. Namita Nayyar: You have glowing skin and gorgeous hair. Do you take some
kind of skin treatment to keep it young and glowing and secondly what you do to
your hair to make them look so stunning?
Ms. Nouria Newman: Kayaking is definitely not a good sport to have a glowing
skin and gorgeous hair ! Wearing a helmet isnít great for your hair and when I
travel for a while or go on an expedition I get super messy hair. I usually end
up using a lotís of conditioner lotion to get rid of the knots ! For the skin I
use hydrating cream because the water, the sun, the wind and the cold...usually
make your skin very dry. Iíve recently been using the Rexaline Youth line
because I have a friend who works there. She made me try the products and I
really like it.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: Advice and motivational words for our inspiring and budding
canoeing girls who all are your fans, what should they do for their climb to the
ladder of success in field of canoeing and extreme kayaking?
Ms. Nouria Newman: Work hard, play hard. Hard work always pays off so take one
step after another and make sure you enjoy what you do. It can only work.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: You have won and participated in many extreme kayaking
championships. Share with us your most memorable experience?
Ms. Nouria Newman: I had an awesome time at the 2012 Whitewater Grand Prix and
it was probably my favorite competition of all time. All the participants
competed, travelled and lived together for two weeks. The whitewater was great,
the competiton stages were super intense and beyond kayaking it was also a great
adventure shared with friends from all over the world.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: Who has been your inspiration and motivation that led you to
your success in the world of canoeing and kayaking?
Ms. Nouria Newman: Many different paddlers and role models inspire me. It goes
from GisŤle Halimi or Simone de Beauvoir (French feminists), to famous
journalists, historical personalities, writers (or even book characters) to
champions like Tony Estanguet (3x Olympic Champion) or stylish paddlers such as
Aniol Serasolses & Evan Garcia...
Ms. Namita Nayyar: You won Gold Medal in ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships
2014 (K-1 team), 1st Place: Ottawa XL - Freestyle Ottawa, Canada 2013, Extreme
Kayaking World Champion Oetz, Austria 2013, Female Paddler of the Year Award as
voted by Canoe & Kayak magazine 2013, Rider of the Year Awards 2012, Best trick
women 2012, 1st Place: Whitewater Grand Prix Chile 2012, 1st Place: Voss Extreme
Week Norway 2012 and Four-time French National Champion - Slalom (2006, 2007,
2008 and 2009). What responsibility these awards and winnings bestow upon you in
your future efforts and activities in the field of canoeing and kayaking?
Ms. Nouria Newman: Iíve had some good results but I also had a lotís of really
bad results. When I was a junior one of the older paddler told me that high
level sport involved more hard times and tears than good results. Itís probably
true but the good times are totally worth it !
Ms. Namita Nayyar: With exceptional hard work you are credited with all your
achievements. Do you believe that does the hand of Providence (Supreme Being)
played a role in your success?
Ms. Nouria Newman: I donít believe in any God or kind of supreme being. I
believe that things happens for a reason. As a result of a context and action.
Sometimes we canít explain it you can call it ďthe hand of providenceĒ, ďGodĒ...
maybe there is a little bit of ďluckĒ or ďbad luckĒ but I see things as
construction, causal chain and probabilities.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: What you wish to say about the website Womenfitness.net and
message for its visitors?
Ms. Nouria Newman: Itís interesting to see a website with such a large range of
different topics, I think everyone can find some good reads and helpful tips.
And my message to the visitors : donít let anyone tell you what you have to do,
do what you love, believe in yourself and follow your dreams.
To know the latest from Nouria Newman, Check her out at:
Women Fitness Team thanks Nouria Newman for giving her valuable time for this
interview and quenching the thirst of her fans to know more about her and made
Dated 16 July 2015
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