Slalom Canoeing and Kayaking at the Olympics

Slalom canoeing and kayaking was first introduced in the summer Olympics during the 1972 games. Two classes of canoeing (C1 and C2) for men only and one class of kayaking (K1) for both men and women, were introduced during the 1972 games. The event was shelved after its initial appearance and made a comeback again in 1992 and has been in the program ever since.

In whitewater slalom events, competitors aim to navigate a decked canoe or kayak through a course of hanging gates on river rapids in the fastest time possible.

In the 1972 games, East Germany dominated the event winning four gold medals and one bronze medal. The West Germans took three silver medals and one bronze.

After the event made its comeback. The Women's K1 has belonged to Czech Republic and Slovakia. Štěpánka Hilgertová of Czech Republic won the gold medal twice in 1996 and 2000. Elena Kaliská of Slovakia followed it up with her own two gold winning streak in 2004 and 2008.

In the three codes of men's events, Slovakia has been the most consistent nation with five gold medals and ten total medals. In its short history, the feat achieved by Michal Martikán of Slovakia, will be a hard to match. He won a medal in five consecutive Olympics which includes two gold medals, two silver and one bronze.

Pavol Hochschorner and Peter Hochschorner, brothers from Slovakia have dominated the C2 canoeing event with three consecutive gold medals in 2008, 2004, and 1996, and one bronze in 2012.

Slalom Events at the 2016 Rio Games

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.


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