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.
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.
- Long distance kayak and canoe events over 10,000m events were on the Olympic Program between 1936-56. Races were contested in both singles and doubles.
- In 1936, there were 10K events for folding kayaks in singles and doubles.
- The sport of canadian canoeing 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 events were added to the program later than the men.
- Extreme Canoe Slalom has been added to the Olympic program for 2024, replacing two Canoe Sprint Medals (men’s and women’s K1 200).
- The most successful Olympic competitor in the paddling sports has been Sweden's Gert Fredriksson, who between 1948 and 1969 captured six gold medals and one bronze. See more on the Greatest Paddlers at the Olympics.
- See more on the Greatest Paddlers at the Olympics.
- Canadian Canoe was a demonstration sport at the 1924 Olympics.
- Previous olympic events include folding kayaks and canoe marathon
- More about the sports of Canoeing and Kayaking
- Canoeing at the Paralympics
- List of Olympic Sports