Friday, May 15, 2009

World Champion freestyle kayaker Ruth Gordon to compete in Lyons Outdoor Games June 12-14 and promote breast cancer awareness and prevention

Story by Lizzy Scully
Photos courtesy of Ruth Gordon

In an effort to promote awareness and prevention for breast cancer, World Champion freestyle kayaker Ruth Gordon is embarking on her Paddle Pink tour this May. One of her stops will be the Smith Optics Lyons Outdoor Games, presented by Oskar Blues, where she will hold Paddle Pink clinics and compete. The Games are a Lyons-based multi-sport event that draws world champion kayakers and national champion mountain bikers, as well as skateboarders, fly fishers, and other athletes.

Gordon was inspired to start her Paddle Pink tour by her grandmother’s battle with breast cancer. “My grandmother is an excellent role model,” she says. “At 86 she still plays tennis everyday and faces life with a smile.” One day while discussing the subject, Gordon’s grandmother said that she hoped someone close to her would work to raise awareness for the disease.

“I stepped up to her cue,” Gordon explains. “I love the idea of giving back, especially to a cause that I've seen negatively affect so many people.” Her first event was held in Moab, Utah, the weekend of May 16, and she will be holding events throughout Colorado this summer, including at the 7th annual Lyons Outdoor Games.

Having competed in Lyons in 2007, she realized the Games were a perfect venue for disseminating her message. “I'd like to reach as many people as possible in an intimate setting, and this event provides just that,” she says. And kayaking, she adds, offers a level of activity for “everybody’s pace,” so the sport can reach out to all types of people.

Paddle Pink participants will enjoy a two-hour session of whitewater kayaking with Gordon, who has been teaching kayaking since 2002. Participants will learn freestyle kayaking techniques and find out how they can protect themselves and their loved ones from breast cancer.

“This memorable experience could potentially bring together a group of paddlers in Lyons and give each of them a chance to learn about breast cancer prevention – steps that may one day save lives,” Gordon says. “We are paddling with purpose.”

All proceeds will benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure. For more information, visit Gordon’s Web site at: or email her at You can also watch a YouTube video of Gordon here.

for more information on the Games, please visit the site or blog.

This blog sponsored by the Lyons Outdoor Games.

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