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Canoeing and Kayaking at the Olympics

Canoeing events were first part of the Olympic in 1924, with demonstration races for canadian canoe. Twelve years later, canoe sprint events were officially on the program in Berlin 1936, while slalom events were first contested in 1972, and then from 1992 onwards.

whitewater kayaking whitewater kayaking through hanging gates

Canoe and Kayak races at the Olympic Games are currently held as flat water sprints or 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.

Sprint Canoe / Kayak — competitors race on flat water in lanes, in canoes (1 or 2 paddlers) and kayaks (1, 2 or 4 paddlers).

Slalom Canoe / Kayak — competitors aim to navigate a decked canoe or kayak through a course of hanging gates on river rapids in the fastest time possible.



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