David Florence followed his father, a former Scottish champion, into canoeing and took part in his first competition at the age of 15. He grew up on the same Edinburgh street as Chris Hoy and attended Stewart’s Melville College before studying Mathematical Physics at the University of Nottingham. Florence made his World Championship début in 2005 and was runner-up in the season long World Cup series two years later. A two-second penalty that Florence incurred on the first run of the Olympic final was the difference between first and second place and meant that he would have to settle for silver and not gold. He was World Cup champion in 2009 but did not win a World Championship medal until 2011, after adding Canadian doubles to his usual singles campaign, he was a member of the British team that won a bronze medal in the C-2 team event, and with Richard Hounslow, he won a silver medal at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics in the C-2 event, and in competing in Rio Florence became the first British slalom canoeist to appear in three successive Games. At the 2013 World Championships in Praha, he became the first man for 60 years to win C-1 and C-2 titles in the same year and also the first Briton to win both titles. He retained his C-1 title on his home course at the Lee Valley White Water Centre in 2015. Florence is an avid bagpipe player and is an all-round sportsman, playing tennis and golf, and he also enjoys skiing. He also learnt Mandarin Chinese before the Beijing Olympics.