Marylanders Shine in First Day of Olympic Trials for Canoe Slalom

Reporting somewhat live from Charlotte, North Carolina is Suzanne- one of the leads on the Deep Creek 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championship.

Thursday, April 12th

Lots of excitement here in Charlotte, where 75 athletes are competing to achieve their life long dream of representing their country on the biggest stage of all – the Olympics.  The Road to London comes down to this competition paired with the World Cup in Cardiff Wales in early June.

There are four available Olympic slots – women’s kayak (WK-1), men’s kayak (K-1), men’s canoe (C-1), and men’s double canoe (C-2). The current leaders for two of these call Maryland home.  In a kayak, the paddler sits in the boat and uses a 2-bladed paddle and in a canoe, the paddler sits and uses a single blade paddle.  Both are closed deck boats.

Caroline Queen (Darnestown, Md.) continues her airtight competition with Ashley Nee (Darnestown, Md.). Queen finished with the top overall time in Women’s K1 – a second run time of 124.28, 1.20 seconds faster than Nee’s top time.

Two-time Olympian Scott Parsons (Bethesda, Md.) currently leads the pack by 2.5 seconds in the ultra competitive Men’s K1 class after turning in a second run time of 100.24.

Additionally, Casey Eichfeld (Part-time, McHenry, Md.) is making a strong showing in both C-1 and C-2.

I can’t wait to see what kind of speed we will see today by these amazing athletes who make slicing through the water seem so effortless.

This is my first visit to the whitewater course here in Charlotte. It is a pretty cool facility with lots of activities other than whitewater. The course itself is a traditional manmade course, with high concrete embankments – a sharp contrast to my home course at the Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI) located in Garrett County; where the course not only sits on a mountaintop, but utilized the over 40 million pounds of rock excavated to make the riverbed.

Impressions from the World Championships

Terry was part of the Deep Creek 2014 Delegation that attended the 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia. He went with the folks from Maryland and USA Canoe Kayak. Today we have another guest blog from Suzanne Nicolas, Event and Special Groups Coordinator at Adventure Sports Center International in Deep Creek and member of the leadership team for Deep Creek 2014!

The 2011 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships are over, and it was such an incredible experience on so many levels. The “Wow” factor of watching athletes compete at the Super Bowl of Whitewater was compounded by the pressure of claiming a spot for their country in the 2012 London Olympics next year.  This was summed up by a huge banner that was placed at water level, just before the athletes paddled to the start line, reading, “Your Ticket to London”.  The US Team’s Carolyn Queen and Scott Parson’s both secured boats for the US in Women and Men’s kayak.

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More from Bratislava

Terry is part of the Deep Creek 2014 Delegation attending the 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia. He is there with the folks from Maryland and USA Canoe Kayak.  Today we have a guest blog from former US Olympic Coach, Bob Campbell!

Saturday, September 10

An exciting day of racing at the Cunovo Sports Center where the 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships are continuing outside Bratislava, Slovakia. After a couple of days of inclement weather with intense winds, the sun has returned and shed strong light on the intensity of competion among these top athletes. Fierce racing yesterday whittled down the field to 20 and 30 boats, respectively, in the Men’s double canoe (C2) and the women’s kayak (K1W) events. Times were amazingly close, as more than just making it through to the semi-finals, paddlers were also vying for Olympic berths for their home countries.

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Thoughts on Day One From Bratislava

Terry is part of the Deep Creek 2014 Delegation attending the 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia. He is there with the folks from Maryland  and USA Canoe Kayak.  Today we have a guest blog from the executive director of USA Canoe Kayak, Joe Jacobi!

For the first time ever, the Canoe Slalom World Championships are being held in Slovakia. Coming off three Olympic Gold Medals in Beijing (out of a possible four,) the home team is anxious to set the tone for the next year’s Olympic Games in London.

Over 400 athletes from 49 countries will take to the man-made rapids of the whitewater channel in Cunovo, a small village on the outskirts of Slovakia’s capital city, Bratislava. Many of the competitors have spent many weeks here learning every square inch of the river in hope of a podium finish.

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First Day of Competition

Terry is part of the Deep Creek 2014 Delegation attending the 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia. Here is his third blog entry chronicling Day 3 of his trip!

Wednesday, September 7

Today the course went hot with the c2 men’s and k1 women’s qualifications.  The first round was in the books, but Mother Nature spoke and threw us a nasty curve of wind postponing competition for the remainder of the day around four o’clock in Bratislava.  To my surprise, the competition for the day was wiped clean…no results counted, thus we must make up the day one competition once the weather cooperates, and that might not be until late tomorrow.

As many who are following may not know, this year’s worlds are a qualifying event for the 2012 London Olympics, so a lot is at stake for these world class athletes and the course here will definitely test their skills and fight.

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Getting Ready for Competition to Begin!

Terry is part of the Deep Creek 2014 Delegation attending the 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia. Here is his second blog entry chronicling his trip!

Tuesday, September 6

After getting settled in to our hotel and learning our way around Bratislava, the Maryland delegation made it’s way to the course for a full day of white water exploration and logistics.

The course along the Danube River is fantastic. The course is linear in nature with two white water canals and one flat water course.  The water flow is pretty dynamic and powerful with many challenging gates which should make for some pretty exciting runs throughout the week. While the athletes were taking to the course for their practice rounds, we explored the operations of the complex, unguided and with members of the Bratislava LOC.

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