Canoe Slalom

Facts

Discipline of Canoeing
Participants 555
NOCs 55
Competitions held 32 (Venues)
Distinct events 7
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; however, it has been on the Olympic Program since that year. Although formally called canoe slalom, it is often referred to as whitewater canoeing, because the rapids along the course create foamy whitewater currents.

From 1972-2016 the program has been standardized with K-1, C-1, and C-2 for men, and K-1 for women. However, the program will be equalized between men and women at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with K-1 and C-1 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 nations in slalom canoeing at the Olympics have been Slovakia, Germany, and France.

Slalom 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 has 166 member nations as of November 2019.

All-time medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Slovakia SVK 8 3 3 14
France FRA 7 3 8 18
Germany GER 4 2 5 11
East Germany GDR 4 0 1 5
Great Britain GBR 2 6 1 9
Czech Republic CZE 2 4 3 9
Italy ITA 2 0 1 3
United States USA 1 2 2 5
Czechoslovakia TCH 1 1 0 2
Spain ESP 1 0 1 2
Australia AUS 0 3 2 5
West Germany FRG 0 3 1 4
Slovenia SLO 0 2 0 2
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

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
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
Maialen Chourraut ESP 1 0 1 2

Event types

Name Gender Still contested? Times held?
Kayak Singles, Slalom Men 8
Canadian Singles, Slalom Men 8
Canadian Doubles, Slalom Men 8
Kayak Singles, Slalom Women 8
Kayak Singles, Obstacle Slalom Boys 2
Canoe Singles, Obstacle Slalom Boys 2
Kayak Singles, Obstacle Slalom Girls 2