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Is the end of C2-Men in the Canoe-Slalom near?

Ladislav Skantar and Peter Skantar of Slovakia celebrate winning gold medal after the Men's Canoe Double (C2) Final on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympics at Whitewater Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
by Helmar Steindl, AIPS Canoe-Kayak commission

Vienna, April 16, 2018 - Does C2 still have a future now that the event is no longer a part of international competitions? The introduction of C2-Mix may offer solace and push for inclusion in the Olympic Games again.

C2 no longer part of competition - In the past 68 years, the Canadian Double boat with two men has been one of the most attractive competitions in the world championships, but the International Canoe Federation has decided to cancel the discipline following a meeting in the Japanese capital Tokyo. The C2 will no longer be a part of the World Cup competition and the World Championship. The decision was enacted in a unilateral manner, without consulting media experts, sport organisers and canoeing circles.

Gender equality - The decision follows the gender equality policy the IOC has promoted. Two years ago, Canoe took a big step towards more gender equality when the new competition programme for the coming Olympic Games was rolled out by including a women’s competition in a Canadian boat.

C2-Mix - But today C2-men is no longer an Olympic sport. As a consequence, international federations reduced funding for this category and the number of starting boats in international competitions went down. To keep this boat class alive the C2- Mix boat should be reintroduced by federations in a bid to reenter the Olympic programme.

History of C2 - Canoe Slalom entered the programme at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich as an event to modernise the Games and source new audiences. The C2-Mix and C2-Men categories had been a part of the World Championships since 1949; at the Olympic Games only C2-Men had the possibility to show its many virtues.

Times, however, change. Tradition has not been taken into account and C2-Men has been scrapped from the Olympic Games. The Canoe Federation wants to retain the chance of incorporating the C2-Mix in future Olympic games. More participants - kayakers and C1 paddlers could make a second start - will be needed.

Future hopes - On a personal note, I participated in C2-competitions for 15 years successfully. The demise of C2 is sad as within Canoeing the C2-loving movement is quite strong. Peter and Pavel Hochschorner, the Skantars, Slovakia’s Olympic champions, will all lament the current situation. For the future, Canoe Slalom should keep C2-Men and C2-Mix in the programme for competitions and the IOC should perhaps be more understanding of the C2 problem.

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