Canoeing 07-19-2004 08:48

The energy Canoeing generates has made it one of the most popular sports worldwide in the last decade. Even non- professional athletes enjoy canoeing as a way to escape the hectic pace of the city.

Canoe / kayak flatwater racing is made up of speed races in calm water. The main features of this sport are power and speed. Canoe / kayak flatwater incorporate speed races for nine individual competitors (螝1, C1) or nine crews (K2, K4, C2) per course. A course consists of nine lanes, each 9 m wide. The contests take place in a Flatwater Racing Centre, and competitors paddle over 500 m or 1,000 m, respectively (Olympic distances). Arrangements for the heats, semi-finals and finals depend on the number of competitors taking part. The winning paddler or crew is the one whose bow鈥檚 point (the tip of the boat) crosses the finishing line first.

The basic features of Canoe / kayak slalom are dexterity, power, speed and tactical skill. Canoe / kayak slalom racing takes place on a natural (a river) or artificial competition course. Competitors complete distances of 250 to 400 m, passing through a series of 18 to 25 鈥榞ates鈥 without touching them with their paddle, boat, head or body.

ATHENS 2004 Canoeing

In Athens, the Canoe / kayak flatwater racing competition will be held at the Schinias Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre, near the village of Marathon, over six competition days, from 23 to 28 August 2004. The Canoe / kayak slalom racing competition will be held in the Helliniko Olympic Complex, over four competition days, from 17 to 20 August 2004 .


The origins of the sport of Canoeing can be traced as far back as five thousand years ago, in prehistoric times, when people crossed rivers and lakes in boats. Today鈥檚 kayak is a descendant of the Eskimo sealskin kayak. The canoe comes from the Canadian Indian birch-bark canoe.

Impetus was given to the sport by a British lawyer, John MacGregor, in the second half of the nineteenth century. After studying the construction of ancient kayaks, he constructed a similar craft for use on European rivers and lakes. In 1866 he founded the Royal Canoe Club; the first competitions were held in the same year.

Competitive Canoe/kayak flatwater racing is a relatively new sport. The International Canoe Federation (ICF), founded in 1924, is the sport鈥檚 highest authority internationally. The year 1924 also saw the addition of Canoe/kayak flatwater racing to the Summer Olympics programme. It was incorporated as a display event in the Paris Games, with competitors from America and Canada. The men鈥檚 Canoe / Kayak flatwater racing disciplines were first included in the Olympic Games competition schedule in 1936 in Berlin, while the women鈥檚 disciplines were included in 1948 in London. The first European Championship took place in 1933 at Prague.

The first official World Championship of Canoe / Kayak slalom races were first held by the International Canoe Federation (ICF) in a Swiss river (Geneva, 1949). Canoe/kayak slalom made its first appearance in Olympic Games in the Munich Olympics (1972). There was an interval of twenty years before the sport reappeared at the Games, in Barcelona in 1992.

The history of Canoeing in Greece is relatively short. The first boats arrived in 1983-4 as a result of inter-state exchanges with Poland and Bulgaria. Canoeing was incorporated in the Greek Rowing Federation of Sporting Nautical Bodies by the Greek -General Secretariat of Sports in 1986 as a full member of the International Canoe Federation (ICF).

Canoe/kayak flatwater racing first made its appearance in Greece in 1987. In 1991, Greece held a Canoe/kayak flatwater racing event at the Lake of Ioannina, during the Mediterranean Games.

The Hellenic Canoe/Kayak Federation (HCKF) was founded in 1998. One year later, in 1999, HCKF introduced Canoe/kayak slalom racing in Greece. The sport enjoyed spectacular progress, and is winning over more and more fans, with Greek athletes already having scored their first international successes.

Source:The official website of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Editor:Wang  Source:

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