Canoe Slalom

Facts

Discipline of Canoeing
Participants 608
NOCs 58
Competitions held 36 (Venues)
Distinct events 5
IF International Canoe Federation

Description

Canoe slalom racing started in Europe with the first World Championships held in 1949 in Switzerland. Folding kayaks were used from 1949 to 1963. The discipline was first on the Olympic Program in 1972 at München, but was then not contested at the Olympics until 1992 in Barcelona, when it returned to the Olympic Program. Although formally called canoe slalom, it is often referred to as whitewater canoeing, because the rapids along the course create foamy whitewater currents. Slalom canoeists compete in both kayaks (Kx) and Canadian canoes (Cx)

From 1972-2016 the program was standardized with K1, C1, and C2 for men, and K1 for women. However, the program was equalized between men and women at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with K1 and C1 events for men and women as the only events.

Most Olympic canoe slalom courses have been artificially built, at some expense to the Organizing Committees. Only in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics were the events held on natural rapids, along the Ocoee River in northern Georgia and southern Tennessee.

The top slalom canoeists at the Olympics have been the Slovakian Hochschorner twin brothers, Pavol and Peter, who won three consecutive gold medals in C-2 Slalom from 2000-08, adding a bronze medal in 2012. The top singles whitewater paddler was likely Jon Lugbill of the United States, who missed his prime at the Olympics, as he was dominant in the 1980s, winning 12 gold medals at the World Championships from 1979-91. The top nations in slalom canoeing at the Olympics have been Slovakia, Germany, and France.

Canoeing is governed worldwide by the International Canoe Federation (ICF) [in French: Fédération Internationale de Canoë (FIC)], which was founded 1946 in Stockholm. The ICF succeeded the Internationale Repräsentantenschaft Kanusport (IRK), which was created on 19 January 1924 in München, with four founding members: Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Sweden. The ICF had 166 member nations as of November 2019.

All-time medal table

Olympic Games

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Slovakia SVK 8 4 3 15
France FRA 7 3 8 18
Germany GER 5 2 8 15
East Germany GDR 4 0 1 5
Czech Republic CZE 3 5 3 11
Great Britain GBR 2 7 1 10
Italy ITA 2 0 1 3
Australia AUS 1 3 3 7
United States USA 1 2 2 5
Slovenia SLO 1 2 0 3
Spain ESP 1 1 1 3
Czechoslovakia TCH 1 1 0 2
West Germany FRG 0 3 1 4
Austria AUT 0 1 1 2
New Zealand NZL 0 1 0 1
Poland POL 0 1 0 1
Japan JPN 0 0 1 1
Russian Federation RUS 0 0 1 1
Togo TOG 0 0 1 1

Most successful competitors

Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Pavol Hochschorner SVK 3 0 1 4
Peter Hochschorner SVK 3 0 1 4
Tony Estanguet FRA 3 0 0 3
Michal Martikán SVK 2 2 1 5
Štěpánka Hilgertová CZE
TCH
2 0 0 2
Elena Kaliská SVK 2 0 0 2
Jess Fox AUS 1 1 2 4
Maialen Chourraut ESP 1 1 1 3
Lukáš Pollert CZE
TCH
1 1 0 2
Franck Adisson FRA 1 0 1 2
Wilfrid Forgues FRA 1 0 1 2
Pierpaolo Ferrazzi ITA 1 0 1 2
Jiří Prskavec CZE 1 0 1 2

Event types

Name Gender Still contested? Times held?
Kayak Singles, Slalom Men 9
Canadian Singles, Slalom Men 9
Canadian Doubles, Slalom Men 8
Kayak Singles, Slalom Women 9
Canadian Singles, Slalom Women 1