Fredericksburg, VA - Decemeber 14, 2023 - The top US canoe and kayak athletes will head to RIVERSPORT this April to see if they can punch their ticket to the Paris Olympics! The event will take place April 26-28 with Slalom racing Friday and Saturday, and Kayak Cross on Sunday (subject to change).

RIVERSPORT is one of the premier Canoe Slalom and Kayak Cross venues in the United States providing a pumped artificial competition channel, which is now the standard for Olympic Slalom and Kayak Cross events.

Canoe slalom is contested by two types of boat, canoe (C) and kayak (K). In canoe, a singleblade paddle is used by an athlete who is kneeling in their boat. In contrast, Kayaks use a double-bladed paddle and are sitting. Canoe & Kayak events are timed events where competitors navigate a whitewater course by passing through a combination of upstream and downstream gates. The type of gate is designated by color, red for upstream and green for downstream. Time penalties can be incurred for touching a gate (two seconds) and missing a gate (50 seconds).

Kayak Cross is the latest addition to the Olympic Program and will debut in Paris. This exciting new Olympic event puts four kayakers in a head-to-head format, racing down a section of whitewater while negotiating several inflatable gates. The race starts with four kayaks on a ramp above the river. After launching 10 ft into the river, the athletes paddle around a series of red and green inflatable “gates” and complete a full kayak roll under a “roll zone” marker; the first boat to cross the finish line wins.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with RIVERSPORT to select our Team USA athletes for Paris. The Olympic Trials are always a great opportunity to showcase our amazing sport and athletes, many of whom are among the best in the World. This year we have the added bonus of being able to introduce the American Public and the next generation of paddlers to the exciting and accessible sport of Kayak Cross." Beth Spilman, Executive Director for the American Canoe Association (ACA).

“We are honored to be hosting US Olympic Team Trials for Canoe Slalom and also qualifying athletes for the first time for the new Kayak Cross discipline making it’s debut in Paris,” said Mike Knopp, Executive Director of RIVERSPORT. “We welcome the opportunity to showcase the sport and encourage everyone to come out and enjoy this exciting weekend of racing.”

The Olympic Team Trials at RIVERSPORT will be the second and final event for our Olympic Team Selection. The first event will be announced in the coming stays, so stay tuned.


About the American Canoe Association

The American Canoe Association was founded in 1880 and is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves as the National Governing Body for Canoe/Kayak as well as serving the broader paddling public by providing educational programs, supporting stewardship initiatives that affect paddlers, and offering competition opportunities to athletes of all abilities. The ACA has over 15,000 members and 300 paddling clubs and affiliated organizations. The ACA provides insurance to hundreds of events and races every year. The ACA education program has an estimated reach of over 800,000 people per year. ACA members reside in all 50 states and over 35 countries worldwide. For more, visit



RIVERSPORT OKC is a US Olympic and Paralympic Training Site for both rowing and canoe/kayak. The nonprofit organization has hosted numerous national and international canoe/kayak race events including 2016 US Olympic Team Trials for Canoe Slalom, 2022 ICF Canoe Sprint Super Cup and 2022 Stand Up Paddling World Cup. RIVERSPORT has been selected to host several upcoming international events including the 2025 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Cup and 2025 ICF Canoe Slalom and Sprint Super Cups. In 2026, RIVERSPORT will host the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships. RIVERSPORT is a 501c3 nonprofit located in Oklahoma City.