1996 Summer Olympics
Kayaking and Canoeing on the Ocoee River
The 1996 Summer Olympics took place in Atlanta from July 19th – August 4th. Over 10,000 athletes participated in 26 sports. We saw the debut of several new sports and countries introduced to the Olympics. The Olympics saw the first games of beach volleyball, mountain biking, softball, lightweight rowing, and women’s soccer. Twenty-four countries participated for the first time, including several former Soviet republics participating as independent countries for the first time.
Unfortunately, the event was marred by a terrorist attack by Eric Rudolph, who planted pipe bombs at Centennial Olympic Park, killing 1 and injuring 111, claiming to be protesting abortion.
Four events took place at the Ocoee Whitewater Center (Ducktown, TN) in the slalom canoeing category: the Men’s C-1 (canoe single), Men’s C-2 (two-man canoe), Men’s K-1 (kayak single), and Women’s K-1 (kayak single). The two-man kayak events took place at Lake Sidney Lanier, Georgia, located between Cleveland, TN and Atlanta, GA. There were sixteen canoeing events in total. The U.S. placed only in the women’s kayak single category, with Dana Chladek earning silver.