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Charlotte NC|US Olympic Trials at the US National Whitewater Center

April 28th, 2008 Listed Under: Charlotte News, Living Here, Things To Do Charlotte

Charlotte was the center of the international whitewater racing world this past weekend- 12 nations, 135 men and women competing for their national Olympic teams in 3 days of racing at the US National White Water Center in Charlotte NC. What a weekend of racing!

The US National Whitewater Center, the only man made white water park in the US and the largest in the world, was the host of its first international competition- the Pan-Am Games, and simultaneously part of the selection process for 5 Olympic kayak teams. Paddler’s from Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, and Columbia were here- as well as Ireland, Czech Republic and Canada. It was a 3 day, combined score event, for the national teams.

Here’s a clip from Sunday’s all important runs, the last 3 gates for Canada’s Pierre Levesque


Most of you know I enjoy this sport. I first saw whitewater on the Potomac 30 years ago in an area known as Great Falls, where many of todays competitors came from… men and women doing the daring, seeming impossible, when their boat disappears beneath the roiling waters, only to bounce back heading in the right direction. I love NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center) and couldn’t wait for the whitewater center to be built. Build it they did, and the racers came!

The US selected 13 paddler’s to advance to the next round in Augsburg, Germany, the final World Cup competition prior to Beijing. First Boat honors went to: Kayakers Brett Heyl and Zuvana Vanha, canoeist’s Austin Crane and Scott McClesky (tandem)and Jeff laimer, singles.

There’s more in slide show from the weekend’s events. The sunny day was Friday, the cloudy day Sunday, all three days saw highs in the low 80’s.


Here’s a post from my last visit at the US National Whitewater center. I’ve rafted all of these routes, and swam one or two as well– definitely preferable to stay in the raft or kayak!

Today marks the opening day of the Wachovia Open, fast becoming one of the worlds elite PGA golfing events. If you like the outdoors, and outdoor sports, Charlotte is the place to be.

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Terry McDonald
I'm the owner/team leader of The McDonald Group at Wilkinson and Associates ERA Powered real estate brokers here in Charlotte NC. A transplanted Washinghtonian, my family and I came from the NYC area in 1993.
Terry McDonald
Terry McDonald

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