Slalom

Craig AllenWhitewater slalom is arguably the ultimate test of whitewater paddling skills, and is the only whitewater discipline currently included in the Olympic Games. Maximal performance must be achieved in all areas - technical, tactical, physical, and psychological. Athletes race on a 300m section of class II-IV whitewater, and are timed from top to bottom. Similar to ski slalom, they must negotiate a series of 18-25 "gates", set up over the waves, eddies and currents of the water. The gates are positioned to test the paddler’s skill in reading the water, and using its power to their advantage. Some of the gates require the paddler to go upstream, against the direction of the current. Mike HolroydIf the paddler touches one of the poles, or misses a gate altogether, penalty times are added to their running time. Two runs are completed, and the times are added together, along with penalties, to give a total score. Precise technique must be applied with power and speed – the goal is to be “fast and clean”.

There are individual and team events in all of the following categories, for both men and women:

K1 (kayak single)
C1 (Canadian single – decked canoe)
C2 (Canadian double – decked canoe)

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