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The Rio 2016 Games promise to provide a stunning stage for the sports of canoe and paracanoe. While the canoe sprint events will be contested on the calm waters of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, an iconic landmark in the heart of the city, the high-octane canoe slalom competitions will take place at the X-Park – a new extreme sports centre in the Deodoro Olympic Park.
When the Paralympic Games get underway, the focus will return to Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, where paracanoe will make its debut at the Paralympic Games. All these events require great strength, concentration and coordination, and are sure to be packed full of unforgettable sporting moments.
Canoe sprint, the most traditional form of the sport, was first contested in the middle of the 19th century and has been part of the Olympic programme since Berlin 1936. Canoe slalom, inspired by skiing competitions, arose in Switzerland in 1932, but only entered the Games 40 years later, in Munich. Paracanoe, which gained momentum at the end of the last decade, will join the Paralympic programme in 2016, along with paratriathlon.
In this series of special articles, we give an overview of the sport - looking at the top canoeing nations and the history of the sport - and then focus on Brazil's bid to win its first Olympic canoe medal. You will also find out about Slovakian twins Peter and Pavol Hochschorner and their plans to return to the top of the Olympic podium in canoe slalom, and read about how paracanoe’s Paralympic Games debut could help the sport grow in the host country.
Schedule of articles:
Tuesday 29 April – Germany, the birthplace of Olympic canoeing, also dominates the medal table
Wednesday 30 April – Slovakian twins aiming to return to top of podium in canoe slalom