Event Dates: Monday August 6 – Saturday August 11
Medal Events: 12
Like it’s brother sport, Canoe Slalom, the Sprint version contains a kayak element with similar lack of fanfare for this side-project. I have my own theories for this kayakism: Eskimos are unpopular. I mean, seriously. When was the last time you saw a “Save the Eskimos” ribbon? Exactly.
There are two main differences between the Slalom and Sprint sports. First, Sprint takes place on still water to give competitors the maximum chance to stay upright in their craft, whereas the Slalom event is designed with hazards to impede this. Second, Sprint is exactly that, a sprint. It goes something like this: mount, stick paddle in water, gun is shot (shit your pants), start paddling to run from the psycho with the gun, win a medal.
I don’t know about you but that sounds harrowing.
I will say that I am excited to see some of the athletes involved in the Sprint competition. Considering the nature of the sport they are likely to have freakishly disproportionate lower to upper body shapes.
Similar to the Athletics competitions, Canoe Sprint is held of specified distances designed to create intense and exciting events. Premiering at the London Olympics is a 200m (656ft 2in for us silly Americans) to go along with 500m and 1000m races. The distances may sound long but a 200m race can last just 30 seconds (bringing us back to that freakish upper body size I was mentioning before…).
They used to hold 10,000m (32,808ft or 6.21 miles!) but clearly modern-day man has no attention span to watch a person balancing on one knee in a canoe for six miles. Can you even imagine? Oh…wait…marathons. Yeah…*snore*
I realize that the Olympics are a historic event, paralleled in popularity only by the World Cup, but the modernization of the games needs to happen at a quicker pace than it is going right at this point. Canoe Sprint is one of those Olympic events whose time has passed and it should go quietly into that good night. But hey, maybe I’m wrong and this will be amazing. Watch and choose for yourself!
To see where to watch this or your other favorite sports, check out NBC’s coverage in your local area.
I hope you have enjoyed this preview of the 2012 London Olympics Canoe Sprint event. Continue to check 8DaysAGeek for more previews of Olympic events.