Sprint - ACA

Olympic & Paralympic


Powerful athletes race head-to-head on a beautiful 9-lane course in narrow, high-speed canoes and kayaks. Olympic Flatwater Sprint Racing combines grace, power, fitness, exact paddling mechanics, and tremendous mental strength in three distances – 200m, 500m, and 1000m. First introduced in the 1924 Paris Olympic Games, Canoe/Kayak Sprint became a full medal sport in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  Sprint Canoe/Kayak represents one of the largest Olympic sports with 10 events.

Athletes are seated and use a paddle with a blade at each end in Kayak events while racing in one-person (K1), two-person (K2), and four-person (K4) boats. Canoe events, in single (C1) and double (C2), are characterized by a single-bladed paddle and are raced from the powerful high-knee position. C4s are also raced at the annual World Championships.

The USA has won 7 Gold, 4 Silver, and 6 Bronze Olympic Medals in Sprint. Nevin Harrison (pictured above) is the current Olympic and World Champion in C1 200, making her the World’s Fastest Women in a Canoe.  For complete Olympic Canoeing Results please see these Race Archives.


Sprint is governed by the Sprint Competition Committee (SCC).  Learn more about the SCC, see its current membership, view the sprint racing rules, and read meeting minutes.

National Team Coaching Staff

  • Canoe Coach – Joseph Harper
  • Kayak Coach – Shelley Oates-Wilding

2024 Teams Selection

Last update: February 23, 2024 – World Cup & Sr World Championship selection criteria clarification; Worlds are still pending.

*Para paddlers should review documents on the Paracanoe page.  The Team Trials information packet for both Paracanoe and Canoe Sprint is available below in the Sprint Competition section.



Non-athlete registration for trials

(The information packet for Team Trails is below in the Competition section.)

2024 Olympic Selection and Qualification

Learn more about the Olympic qualification system on the ICF website.


Pan American Canoe Championships Selection

Draft document below, to be finalized shortly – 

Selection for the U23 World Championships 

World Cups 1 & 2

Senior World Championships, Junior World Championships and Olympic Hopes Regatta – In process.


National Team Staff Selection

Sprint Competitions

  • 2024 CSP Events
  • Paris 2024 Olympic Events
  • Race Results Archives
  • Senior Team Trials, Lake Natoma, California, March 22-23, 2024



    Non-athlete registration for trials

    ICF Continental Qualifier – The Continental Qualifier will be held in Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida on April 23, 24 & 25.  Please see ICF Qualification proceduresSee the schedule of events.

    Selected Team members are expected to report for training camp on April 15 or 18 – check with the National Team coaches.  Any athlete who declines participation must do so in writing to Steve Kelly.

    Housing will be provided, a travel subsidy will be provided (receipt necessary), for both personal and boat transport.  Training fees and accreditation will be provided.

    Pan American Canoe Championships – Dates and location same as above.

    Qualified athletes for Pan American only will not receive a transport subsidy.

    World Cup 1 – Szeged, Hungary.  Qualified athletes should coordinate with the National coaches their boat requirements and travel dates and arrive in Szeged no later than May 7, 2024, for training camp. This is a self-funded trip.  Deposit requirements have been requested and it is necessary to reserve housing.  Approximated total cost will be $2,500.

    World Cup 2 – Poznan, Poland – This is an unsupported competition, although qualified athletes are free to attend.  Athletes must tell the National Coaches of their intent to attend and which events they would like to enter.  This should be communicated in writing to Steve Kelly.  The ACA will submit the entries.

    U23 World Championship – Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 8th fly from Atlanta to Plovdiv. We will be staying in the accommodations organized by the ICF World Championship Organizing committee and leaving after the competition on Monday July 22nd. We will use the organizing committee transport from the airport to the Hotel in Plovdiv. We will also use the organized buses to the course and Coaches will have one car for emergencies.  This is a self-funded trip – approximate cost for 15 nights is $2,500.

    Junior World & Olympic Hopes Trials at the Ted Houk Regatta, June 8-9, 2024, Green Lake, Seattle, Washington

    Junior & U23 World Championships, July 17-21, 2024, Phovdia, Bulgaria

    US National Championships, August 6-9, 2024, Lake Lanier, Gainesville, Georgia

    Olympic Canoe Sprint Competition, August 6-11, 2024, Paris, France

    Non-Olympic World Championships, August 23-25, 2024, Samarkland, Uzbekistan

    Olympic Hopes Regatta, September 5-8, 2024, Szeged, Hungary

    Paracanoe Competition, September 6-8, 2024, Paris, France 

    The following ten canoe sprint events are part of the 2024 Paris Olympic program:

      1. Women’s C-1 200 meters (WC1 200m)
      2. Men’s C-1 1000 meters (MC1 1000m)
      3. Women’s C-2 500 meters (WC2 500m)
      4. Men’s C-2 500 meters (MC2 500m)
      5. Women’s K-1 500 meters (WK1 500m)
      6. Men’s K-1 1000 meters (MK1 1000m)
      7. Women’s K-2 500 meters (WK2 500m)
      8. Men’s K-2 500 meters (MK2 500m)
      9. Women’s K-4 500 meters (WK4 500m)
      10. Men’s K-4 500 meters (MK4 500m)

    For historical information about past competitions and award winners, please see the Sprint Canoe and Kayak Archives Website.

    You will also find there a listing of all Sprint Canoe and Kayak Olympians, Paralympians, and World Champions for the United States

2023 USA Sprint Canoe Senior National Team

Sprint Canoe / Kayak Document Archive


Sprint Competition Committee Bylaws-v1-0

Size: 62.39 KB
Date added: 12-05-2023

ACA Sprint Racing Rules (2023)

Version: ACA Sprint Racing Rules (2023)-20230622
Size: 645.88 KB
Date added: 06-21-2023

Paris 2024 Qualification System for Canoe Sprint

Version: Paris 2024 Qualification System for Canoe Sprint-20240129
Size: 1.85 MB
Date added: 04-05-2023

Olympic Results 1924-2018

Size: 17.03 KB
Date added: 03-27-2023