Sprint CanoeKayak is all about speed on the water – strength, technique, endurance and raw speed are all elements of this impressive Olympic discipline. In addition to the most elite athletes, sprint paddling can be enjoyed by kids as young as five and Masters paddlers into their 80s. 

It’s a sport that involves the entire body, including the legs which push and pull to generate power with the stroke. Elite athletes train for hours each week on the water, in the gym and through a variety of cross-training activities to be in peak physical condition.

The kayak events include the men’s K-1 200m, K-1 1000m, K-2 1000m and K-4 500m and the women’s K-1 200m, K-1 500m, K-2 500m and K-4 500m.

The canoe events are the men’s C-1 1000m and C-2 1000m to go with the women’s C-1 200m and C-2 500m.


Canoe Kayak Canada was founded in 1900 as the Canadian Canoe Association. With early ties to the American association, the Canadian Association broke apart on its own as it took a great focus on war canoe racing. 

In 1936, sprint paddling was introduced to the Olympic Games and Francis Amyot won Canada’s first gold medal. Since then, Canoe Kayak Canada has continued to excel internationally. Having won 24 Olympic medals, it is one of Canada’s most successful summer sport organizations.

Roland Varga


The Olympic program will become gender equal at Tokyo 2020 with the addition of women’s canoe events. Men and women will each compete in four kayak events and two canoe events.

Canadian paddlers have been winning Olympic medals since the sport made its debut at Berlin 1936.

Canada’s biggest medal haul came at Los Angeles 1984 where six medals were won, including two gold.  These were also the first Games at which Canadian women won kayak medals

Courtesy of olympic.ca