A canoeist since the age of ten, Helen Reeves was a World Junior Championship gold medal winner in 1996 but her competitive career was blighted by a succession of shoulder injuries and she was forced to watch the Sydney Olympics from a hospital bed awaiting an operation. She won bronze medals in the K-1 team event at both the 2002 and 2003 World Championships and was placed in the top 10 of the individual K-1 on both occasions as well. Reeves learnt of her Olympic medal success in an unusual manner. She had originally been placed fourth on aggregate times but, whilst she was being interviewed by a television crew about her disappointment at missing a medal, several members of the crowd shouted at her to look at the scoreboard. The official results had been changed and an extra penalty had been judged against Frenchwoman Peggy Dickens. This was enough to lift Reeves into third by a fraction of a point. Sadly for Reeves she not able to remain free from injury and was never again able to contend for championship medals. She returned to the Olympic arena as a television commentator in 2008 and is a press officer for GB Canoeing.