COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM)- Hunter Katich is a 21-year old Auburn student who knows the Chattahoochee all too well. He competed for the 5th time in the Go-Pro Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado, this time bringing home the gold medal.
"It feels really good because I always go out there, and I've really been wanting to win this event forever." -said Hunter Katich/ Go-Pro Mountain Games Freestyle Champion
Katich says, "Starting off Kayaking when I was 12 years old, I've been in a canoe with my dad way before that and we just came home with some kayaks. My mom was really mad when we came home with kayaks that one day and then I've been kayaking out of the Chattahoochee ever since."
Each kayaker is timed to throw tricks and attempt to impress the judges and the crowd for the highest combined score.
Katich tells a little about what happens during the competition, "You have a minute at the Go-Pro mountain games to do as many freestyle flips and tricks. They are kind of judged on the amplitude and if you do it without your paddle cling,"
In previous years, Katich managed to still place second and third in the Go-Pro games and he says he is already bracing next year's crowd. But he says he is not stopping there.
He plans to makes the USA team again and there is the World Championships in Schwartz, Spain that he hopes to attend in the summertime.
Katich says no matter how far he goes, he is forever thankful for where it all began.
Katich says, "I have a lot of sponsors, a lot of little local sponsors here and I'm just proud to be able to bring a gold home for them, my family, just kind of thankful."
Follow Hunter's Facebook for more pictures and information.