8 Years After First Qualifying, Md. Kayaker Finally to Compete in Olympics

A kayaker born and raised in Maryland will compete in the Olympics this summer.

Ashley Nee, 28, now lives in Bethesda but grew up near the Potomac River. She said that as a child she was afraid of kayaking. After being forced into it by a friend, she discovered a dream.

“Slowly I worked my way up,” Nee said, “And I’ve been out here every weekend and several times a week.”

She also found a community of kayakers, which became a motivation for her to realize her goal of competing at the Olympics, she said.

“It was a heated battle in Charlotte and Oklahoma, but I gave it my all, and I fought for every stroke,” she said, ”I just couldn’t be more excited.”

Nee qualified for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, but was unable to attend after sustaining a dislocated shoulder.

After years of grueling training, Nee has qualified for the Olympics.

In a few weeks, she will head to Rio de Janeiro, where she will continue to fight to bring home the gold.

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