Canoeing and Kayaking at the Olympics
Canoe and Kayak races at the Olympic Games are held on both flat water with competitors assigned to lanes (Sprint Events), and in slalom events. There are single, double and four boats. The kayak boats are identified by the letter “K” while the canoes are prefixed by a “C”, with the following number indicating the number of paddlers. Below is a list of all the events that are currently on the Olympic program. Sprint events have been contested since Montreal 1976.
Events at the 2012 London Games
Since the previous Olympics in 2008, the Men's 500m sprint events for both Kayak and Canoe have been dropped and replaced by the shorter 200m races. For the women, all 500m races are retained and one 200m Kayak sprint added.
Flatwater / Sprint
- The sport of canoe / kayak was a demonstration sport at the Paris Olympics in 1924.
- Canoe-Kayak was first held at the Olympic Games in 1936 with Flatwater Racing, while Slalom Racing did not appear in the Olympic Program until 1972.
- Women were added to the program later than the men, and compete only in kayaks.
- The most successful Olympic competitor was Sweden's Gert Fredericson, who between 1948 and 1969 captured six gold medals and one bronze. See more on the Greatest Paddlers at the Olympics.