Canoe Slalom is truly dynamic sport that sees its athletes take on some of nature’s most challenging white water. The athletes are in amongst the elements as they battle through the challenging rapids, demonstrating immense skill and physical strength in order to chance victory.
Paddlers have to negotiate their way down a 300m white water rapid, racing through a series of up to 25 gates made up of red and green poles. The coloured poles determine the direction that the paddlers must past through gates. Paddlers have to race as fast as they can through the course of gates whilst battling with the challenging white water rapids of waves, stoppers and eddies to accomplish the quickest time. Paddlers are awarded time penalties of two seconds if they touch a gate and 50 seconds if they miss a gate altogether, which is added to their running time. The combined score of time and penalties determines the finish order.
There are five categories that Canoe Slalom paddlers compete in. Both women and men race in Kayak single (K1) and the Canoe single (C1) event, men can also race in the Canoe double event. In their categories the paddlers also compete in team events. Teams consist of three boats, who work together weaving in and out of the course, keeping as close to one another possible. Canoe Slalom is one of two Olympic canoe disciplines.
(Text taken from http://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk)