Named Canoe and Kayak Magazine's 2014 Female Paddler of the Year and is currently the World Freestyle Jr. Women's Champion, finishing first in C1 and tied for third in K1 at the Senior Slalom Team Trials and is the top C1 and K1 US Slalom Jr Woman. At 15, Sage Donnelly is a rising star in the world of whitewater kayaking, mastering the diverse skills necessary for both freestyle and slalom kayaking. But it hasn't always been easy.
Sage was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 3 years old. She developed it at the same age as her Grandfather who passed away from complications from the disease. She took her diagnosis like a trooper, but it was still hard to adjust to a minimum of 4 shots a day, 20 finger pricks a day, and regimented eating schedules. Within 6 months of her diagnosis, she received her first pump, an Animas IR 1200, and we watched her blood sugars become more stabilized and under control. We enjoyed the freedom of control the pump offered as well as only giving her 1 shot every 3 days for a new catheter site for insulin delivery.
Sage has not let her diabetes control her life. She skied her first double diamond ski run at age 5, (the Wall at Kirkwood Mountain Ski Resort in California) and has been an avid rock climber since she was 3, counting Yosemite's Munjenella as one of her favorite routes, but kayaking remains her favorite sport. She started out at the age of 3 in an old Topo-duo with her Dad in the rear cockpit, and her Mom leading them down numerous class 2 and 3 rapids. When she was 5, she took off in her own boat and was doing well in class 2. When she was 7, she learned to roll her kayak and has been unstoppable ever since. She loves running rivers and side surfing holes as well as competing in rodeos, slalom races and down river races.
In June of 2007, while competing in the FibArk river festival in Salida, Co, Sage was thrilled to be asked to join the Jackson Kayak Regional Team and is now on the Jackson Factory Whitewater Factory Team.
WHAT'S IN HER GYM BAG?
- 2015 Jr. Women's Freestyle World Champion
- 2015 2nd in US Canoe and 3rd in Kayak at Senior Slalom Team Trials
- 2015 1st in US Freestyle Jr. Women's Team Trials
- 2015 12 in Jr. Worlds Women's Canoe Slalom, 29th in Kayak Slalom
- 2015 2nd GoPro Mountain Games Creek Race
- 2015 2nd Women's North fork Race Championships Lower 5 Creek Race
- 2015 5th Women's Payette River Games SUP Race
- 2015 Nominated for Canoe and Kayak Female Paddler of the Year
- 2015 Featured in Lily Robotic Heli-drone Promo Video
- 2015 Featured in a BBC documentary for the West
- 2014 Canoe and Kayak Female Paddler of the Year
- 2014 1st in both K1 and C1 Jr. Women's Slalom Team Trials
- 2014 Jr. Women's National Freestyle Champion
- 2014 C1 Women's National Slalom Champion, 3rd Women's K1 Slalom
- 2014 2nd GoPro Mountain Games Extreme Creek Race
- 2014 Top 3 World Paddler Awards Jr. Female Paddler of the Year
- 2013 Jr. Women's National Freestyle Champion
- 2013 1st GoPro Mountain Games Pro Women's Freestyle
- 2013 Age Group Nationals Jr. Women's Slalom K1 and C1 National Champion