Canoe slalom is an exciting Olympic whitewater sport where competitors negotiate a whitewater course by passing through a series of poles or ‘gates’. The timed course is generally 200 to 300m in length and includes a maximum of 25 gates that are colour coded. Red gates must be navigated in an upstream direction and green gates must be navigated in a downstream direction. Penalties are incurred for touching a gate (two seconds) and missing a gate (50 seconds).
Competitors race in canoes (C), where the paddler is kneeling in the boat and using a single blade paddle or kayak (K), where the paddler is sitting in the boat and using a double bladed paddle.
Race categories generally include C1 Women, C1 Men, K1 Women and K1 Men (Olympic disciplines) with the addition of C2 Women, C2 Mixed and C2 Men (non-Olympic disciplines).