Sprint - ACA

Olympic & Paralympic


TRIALS REGISTRATION ANNOUNCEMENT – We urgently need commitments to secure housing for Junior/U18 athletes:

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, and read meeting minutes.

2023 Teams Selection

Last update: March 21, 2023 – Link to Pan Am document added.

World Cups and Senior/U23/Junior World Championships Selection Criteria

2024 Olympic Selection
The Olympic Selection Criteria is under review by our Sprint Competition Committee and will be posted here.

Download information on the Paris 2024 Olympics Qualification System for Canoe Sprint.  Learn more about the Olympic qualification system on the ICF website.

National Team Coaching Staff

  • High Performance Coach – Zsolt Szadovszki
  • Canoe Coach – Joseph Harper
  • Kayak Coach – Shelley Oates-Wilding

Sprint Competitions

USA Sprint High-Performance Athletes