The world visited the Adventure Sports Center International, designed by the McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group in McHenry (western) Maryland to witness the 2014 World Championships of Whitewater Slalom, September 17-21, 2014. Over 400 athletes from 46 nations competed for top honors at in the Men’s and Women’s kayak and decked canoe (C1) and the doubles canoe. Take a quick aerial look of the World Championships site!
Kent Ford, former US Slalom Team member, paddlesports historian shared during his expert commentary that that the Adventure Sports Center International reminded competitors of both the Eiskanal in Munich, the site of the 1972 Olympics and the gold standard of artificial whitewater courses, and the slalom course in Seu d’Urgell, Spain where whitewater returned as an Olympic event in 1992. Olympic hosts are not required to include whitewater slalom in the event lineup, but have chosen to do in recent years for its unique appeal and aspect of adventure.
Scott Parsons, the US Men’s Kayak slalom competitor at the 2004 (Athens), Beijing (2008) and London (2012) Olympics, collaborated with an International Canoe Federation official to set the course for the competition by carefully arranging the position of the hanging gates through which the paddlers must go ‘cleanly,’ without touching either pole. “It was challenging to walk the line of being difficult but not too difficult,” commented Scott.
US paddler Fabien LeFevre took first place in C1, the first gold has been won in whitewater slalom by the US in twelve years. Women’s K1 and C1 gold were claimed by Jessica Fox, whose parents Richard Fox and Myriam Jerusalmi won in their respective kayak classes in 1989 on the Savage River (MD).
We have been extremely proud to have these extraordinary athletes compete on this MWDG designed course.
MWDG thanks Marc Hunt for these great images!