Three Glenwood siblings will compete for U.S. in kayak world championships
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — After making a name for themselves through their family’s YouTube “Kellogg Show” and traveling around the country in an RV with a family of 14, three Kellogg siblings from Glenwood Springs are now looking to make a name for themselves through sports.
They compete on the world stage Nov. 27-Dec. 2 in the 2017 International Canoe Federation’s Canoe Freestyle World Championships in San Juan, Argentina.
Kady Kellogg, 19, Kenny Kellogg, 17, and Dally Kellogg, 15, leave for Argentina Nov. 10 with their father, Dan, and older brother, Brody, 20, to get settled into a new country prior to the start of the world championships.
Kady will represent Team USA on the U.S. Women’s National Team as one of the top five freestyle kayakers in the country. Kenny and Dally will represent Team USA on the U.S. Junior Men’s National Team as two of the country’s three top freestyle kayakers.
The world championship whitewater park is located downstream of the Ullum dam on the Rio San Juan River, about 18 kilometers from the city. It is a section of river artificially modified by Kayak Club San Juan.
Dating back to 2008 when the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park was built on the Colorado River, the Kelloggs had always been on the water, whether that was in rafts or duckies. In 2010, kayakers started to make their way to the park, which sparked an interest in the Kelloggs. Since 2010, the family has traveled the country in the RV while home-schooling the 12 kids, filming the YouTube shows and competing in various whitewater events.
“When the kids first picked it up, they really excelled,” Dan Kellogg said before a recent practice run in Glenwood. “It just kind of happened with the love of the sport, that for them being out here and paddling is fun for them, which allowed them to excel. They’re having fun every day.
“They don’t really have a training regiment; they’re just having fun. They know they’re representing the U.S. and realize what an honor it is, but this is all about having fun for them, learning new tricks and perfecting those tricks.”
In late May of this year, the family packed up in the RV and traveled to Buena Vista for CKS Paddlefest on the Arkansas River, which also correlated with the Team USA trials.
The three Kelloggs competed in the trials, eventually earning their way onto the teams. This will be the first time for Kenny and Dally, but Kady competed for the U.S. women’s junior national team once before.
“I was super stoked to find out I made the U.S. women’s team,” Kady said. “This was my first year competing at the pro women’s division, so I was just overwhelmed that I made the top three in the division.”
Going up against some of the top pros in the world could be a tall task for the 19-year-old, but her overall goal is to simply have fun and represent her country well.
“I know it’s going to be tough once I get down there because the competition level is going to be so high,” Kady said. “So I’m trying to keep my own stress level low and remember that once I get down there I just want to have fun, meet new people and represent my country in the best way that I can.”
As Kady gets set to compete against some of the top pros in the world as one of the three best U.S. women, her brothers — Kenny and Dally — get a chance to represent their country on the same U.S. junior national team as two of the three best 18U kayakers in the country. That’s a rare feat in any sport.
“I think it’s awesome to be with my brother because we’re going to get a chance to experience this together, but also compete against each other,” Kenny said. “We’re both really competitive with each other, so we’re going to push each other to be the best we can be.”
Like their older sister Kady, Kenny and Dally earned their spots on the U.S. junior national team at the Team USA trials on the Arkansas River after CKS Paddlefest. The junior division was pretty stacked, according to Kenny, so for the brothers to both make the team is pretty remarkable.
“It was really awesome to earn a spot with my brother,” Dally said. “I was so stoked to get a chance to go to Argentina with my brother and sister to represent the U.S. on the world stage. It’s going to be so much fun; that’s all I’ve been kind of thinking about.”
Aside from representing the U.S. on the biggest stage possible in kayaking, the three Kelloggs still have responsibilities as students.
Being home-schooled helps them balance a hectic schedule by finishing schoolwork in the morning before heading to the whitewater park in the afternoon, where they can be found late into the evening working on their craft on the water.
The Kelloggs will pay for their own travel to Argentina. For equipment, they receive sponsorship support from local businesses such as Alpine Quest Sports in Glenwood Springs and Gili Gear in Vail, as well as a number of other businesses across the country.
Viewers can watch the three Kelloggs compete through a live feed on the Olympic Channel.
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It’s that time of year — hikers and mountain bikers must be aware that seasonal closures are taking effect on multiple trails in the area for the winter for the benefit of wildlife.