The Olympic slalom canoe program was standardized in 1992, with no change in the men’s and women’s programs from 1992-2016. There were four slalom events, kayak and Canadian singles for men, men’s Canadian doubles, and women’s kayak singles. The slalom gold medals were divided among four nations – Czech Republic, France, Germany, and Slovakia, with France, Germany, and Slovakia all winning three medals in canoe slalom.
The whitewater competition was at the Ocoee Whitewater Center near Ducktown, Tennessee, well north of Atlanta. The course was essentially a natural course built in the dry riverbed of the Upper Ocoee River, created by a dam diversion. That section of the river had been dry since 1942, after the construction of a downriver dam. The 1996 organizers were concerned about the expense of building an artificial whitewater course, as in München (1972) and Barcelona (1992), and hoped to begin the precedent of a natural whitewater course, although the 2000-16 Olympic courses were artificially constructed. The dry riverbed of the Upper Ocoee was flooded specifically for a period prior to the 1996 Olympics, to allow pre-Olympic competition and training and the Olympic events.