Memories & Medals: A look back at 2015

Memories & Medals: A look back at 2015

Pink Phoenix served 91 breast cancer survivors who became full-time or associate paddlers in 2015. Coaching staff, callers and tillers cheerfully greeted three boats full of women at three weekly practices. Rain or shine, the Pinks came ready to "bring it!"

In the spring, rookies seemed amazed as they built their endurance and achieved small goals like making it out of the marina without resting or not clacking paddles with a teammate. Veterans returned for many reasons; the satisfaction of growing as an athlete, the love of good competition, the camaraderie that develops from being in the same boat with other survivors and the joy of leaving side effects or a bad day on the dock as you slide on to a bench and pick up a paddle.

Memories are made on road trips and our crews traveled to dragon boat festivals in Olympia WA, Victoria BC, Flathead Lake MT and Kent WA, often bringing home shiny "hardware" and stories that will be retold for years. We also competed on our hometown course (the Willamette River) during the Rose Festival, Portland Dragon Boat Races and the Row For the Cure - a 2000M endurance race around Portland bridges and fundraiser for Komen Oregon. Racing on Vancouver Lake at Paddle West, the Pinks earned a berth to the World Club Crew Championships in Adelaide AU in 2016. We declined the opportunity for a number of reasons, chief among of them is that we dream of Italy in 2018 - it will be a long way to Florence for the International Breast Cancer Paddlers' Commission's regatta. . . .

Follow this link Memories & Medals for the full year-end newsletter