Since they were little girls, Ekaterina has followed in the footsteps of her big sister Aleksandra. Introduced to paddling from the time they could walk, it would have been hard to imagine that the fun and giggles of paddling on family outings on placid lakes would one day lead to a career as professional whitewater paddlers and members of the Russian national canoe slalom team.
Younger by four years than Aleksandra, Ekaterina usually and understandably, follows rather than leads her sister into new sports.
The sisters' first foray into competitive sports was in a pool, practicing a different kind of stroke, swim strokes not paddle strokes. The two girls swam competitively for 10 years but were restless. Results weren't very satisfying, so they kept their options and eyes open for other opportunities.
Then one day in 1998, an aunt took them to a slalom competition and once again, Aleksandra was the first to dive into the new sport. After a rocky start on her first outing in a kayak with no spray skirt, Ekaterina got a coach to teach her to roll and two weeks after mastering that all-important move, Ekaterina was on her way to her first slalom training camp.
While their parents always encouraged the girls to participate in sports, they rarely attended competitions. Their mother did go to Prague in 2006, where Aleksandra made her first final. It was her mother's first and last visit to a competition.
The women also have enjoyed the travel that comes with being full-time slalom athletes extending summer by traveling in the winters to warm water destinations in places like Africa, Australia and Brazil.
But Ekaterina says her favorite courses are closer to home at the more technical courses of Prague and Cunovo as well as Liepzig and Augsburg.
Like other veteran paddlers, Ekaterina likens the slalom tour to one big traveling family and said it really feels good when everyone supports you, wishing you good luck and pulling for her to have her best results.
The Women's K1 Semi begins at 10:15 a.m., immediately following the Men's C2 semi that kicks off the day at 9:30 a.m.
The afternoon will be filled with men's and women's C1 Heats.