Evy Leibfarth competes in the European Canoeing Association Junior Cup
Not many people can say they competed in the Olympic Trials and the European World Cup Series – at the age of 12! K12 International Academy (iCademy) student Evy Leibfarth came in sixth place at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Canoe/Kayak Slalom in April, then won all five of the races in which she competed in the European Canoeing Association (ECA) Junior Cup this summer.
Evy began schooling with iCademy two years ago to pursue her passion for kayaking, as well as to challenge herself academically.
“The school enables me to excel academically by offering classes that challenge my abilities,” Evy said. “I enjoy being able to work at my own pace and choosing electives that interest me.”
According to Evy’s mother, Jean Folger, Evy took algebra as a 6th grader and honors geometry in 7th grade. While Evy is technically a rising 8th grader, she will be taking entirely high school-level classes this fall.
“Because K12 is flexible, Evy has been able to take classes that match her abilities,” Jean said.
Evy lives in Bryson City, North Carolina, just minutes away from the Nantahala River, where she trains. However, the ECA Junior Cup took Evy all over Europe – to Solkan, Slovenia; Flattach, Austria; and Augsburg, Germany – the site of the 1972 Olympics. In each race, there were nearly 400 competitors – and Evy defeated them all.
Because the Olympic Trials rankings are categorized based on gender and type of boat with no divisions for age groups, Evy competed against women of all ages – and finished sixth! While only the top boat in each class qualifies for the Olympics, Evy was just three places away from a spot on the U.S. National Team, as the top three finishers in her race made that squad.
“I’ve been in a lot of races, but this was biggest – there were more than 10,000 people watching and cheering on the racers,” Evy said. “I was a little nervous right before my race, but as soon as the starter said ‘Go,’ I just focused on the whitewater and paddled as fast as I could.”