Both canoeing and kayaking were first introduced into the Summer Olympic Games in 1924 in Paris. However, this first year, both sports were simply used as demonstration for a possible addition to future games. Officially, they were both first added to the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany.

There are two types of canoeing and kayaking in the Olympic competitions: sprinting and slalom. Both types of boats are used, with variations depending on the exact competition: one or two canoers and one, two or four kayakers. Delineation for the different competitions are shown by the designations: for example “C-2” means that the game is a two-person canoe event, while “K-1” means it is a singles kayak competition.

The majority of events are either 500 or 1000 meters, however, between 1936 to 1956, there were events that went for 10 kilometers. As of the 2012 Summer Olympics, however, the 500 meter events would be replaced by 200 meter competitions.

Events taking place before 2008, have Germany with the most all-time medals at 55, with the Soviet Union holding the most gold medals at 51.

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Written by Ripley Hunter

Ripley Hunter enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities and adventure sports. From kayaking to rock climbing, Hunter's real love lies in fishing, whether on the water or ice. Among his great adventures is deep sea fishing in New Zealand. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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