Born in the DC area and raised part-time in Chile, Pablo McCandless first sat in a kayak at age 15 and almost immediately discovered a new passion. He learned to paddle with CLA director, Tom McEwan, his mentor/instructor, and with him was able to explore many remote rivers in the US, Canada, and Mexico.
The US National Slalom Team trained near his home in Bethesda, MD and inspired Pablo to enter local slalom races starting at age 16. He joined BCE (now Potomac Whitewater) and started training with Oliver Fix, the German gold medal winner at the Atlanta games, and Cathy Hearn, US Olympian and World Champion. Pablo won a spot on the US team in 2003.
After Graduating from Walt Whitman H. S., Pablo attended Western Carolina University and trained with the Nantahala Racing Club under coach Rafal Smolen. In 2004, Pablo went to Chile to train in Pucon, eventually making the Olympic Team to represent Chile in the 2008 Olympics. Read more about his exciting journey to Beijing here.
Among Pablo’s accomplishments are:
- Finishing 16th at the 2008 Olympics.
- 2012 3rd at Alseseca Race
- 2013 Green Race time 4.37
- Managed the kayak instruction program at the USNWC in Charlotte, NC
Now back in the DC area and a new dad, he occasionally has time to guest instruct for Liquid Adventures!