Charlotte to Host 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials for Whitewater Slalom

Dec. 12, 2011, 2:57 p.m. (ET)

CHARLOTTE, NC – December 12, 2012 – The U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) will host the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials for Whitewater Slalom April 12 – 14, 2012. The three-day competition also features live music and a fireworks display on Saturday night. The competition and festival will be free and open to the public.

The USNWC hosted the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials leading up to the Beijing Olympics. The center will also host the 2012 Canadian Olympic Trials the same weekend.

Whitewater Slalom athletes will compete in the Olympic disciplines of men’s and women’s Kayak (K1M and K1W) and men’s single and two-person Canoe (C1 and C2). Based on an athlete’s placing in races throughout the year, including the U.S. Olympic Trials, points are assigned to rank the athletes within their disciplines. The athlete (or team of athletes for C2) with the highest point total in each qualified discipline will be nominated to represent the U.S. at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Thus, a maximum of five U.S. athletes will have the chance to compete in London.

For more information, please visit the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Event Page.


Scott Parsons, Men’s Kayak: "Olympic years are always intense, full of focus, and exhausting.  They are also, though, the most fun and rewarding years I've had as a slalom racer.  The US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte is a great venue to kick off the Olympic year with the US slalom team trials."

Caroline Queen, Women’s Kayak: “The Olympic trials race this spring will be unquestionably the most critical race of our 2012 year. I have improved considerably at the USNWC in Charlotte since starting at Davidson [College]. I hope this experience will serve me well this spring.”

Casey Eichfeld, Men’s Canoe: “The Olympic Team Trials of 2012 is a long awaited race for many of us who are vying for those limited Olympic spots. I am really looking forward to getting to compete against our best and putting my all in.”

Joe Jacobi, USA Canoe/Kayak CEO: "We couldn't be more thrilled to have the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials for Whitewater Slalom return to Charlotte. The USNWC is the world’s premier whitewater facility and an ideal setting for selecting our best athletes, while the venue's amenities are perfect for raising the profile of the sport. We're excited that Charlotte will play a key role in our efforts to win Olympic medals in London. The USNWC has some of the most challenging, but consistent whitewater in the U.S. for Slalom and will once again make for a perfect venue for selecting our 2012 Olympians.”

William Irving, USA Canoe/Kayak National Teams Director: “The U.S. National Whitewater Center has some of the most challenging, but consistent whitewater in the U.S. for Slalom and will once again make for a perfect venue for selecting our 2012 Olympians. Our athletes have been training hard for their chance to make the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. All of the best slalom athletes in the country will be in attendance at the Trials in an attempt to earn the single Olympic slot per discipline.”  

Jeff Wise, Executive Director of the USNWC: “Having the U.S. Olympic Trials return to our facility is exciting because it continues to build the Olympic spirit and movement in the Charlotte region. Over the weekend we’ll play host to the many elite athletes from both the United States and Canada. Alongside those athletes, you’ll see friends and families playing outside and enjoying a great event.”

About the U.S. National Whitewater Center

The U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit outdoor recreation and adventure sports facility. Alongside mountain biking and running trails, a climbing center, zip-lines, flatwater kayaking, high ropes courses and a canopy tour, the facility’s most unique feature is a multiple-channel, customized whitewater river for rafting and paddling enthusiasts of all abilities. The USNWC is just minutes away from Downtown Charlotte and is situated on over 400 acres of woodlands along the scenic Catawba River. The USNWC is proud to be a U.S. Olympic Training Site that provides outdoor recreation to families, outdoor enthusiasts of all ages, casual observers and Olympic-caliber athletes.

About USA Canoe/Kayak

USA Canoe/Kayak is a non-profit membership organization promoting canoe and kayak racing in the United States. A member of the United States Olympic Committee, USA Canoe/Kayak is the national governing body for the Olympic sports of Flatwater Sprint and Whitewater Slalom and the official U.S. federation of the International Canoe Federation. Other paddling sports sanctioned by USACanoe/Kayak include Marathon, Freestyle, Wildwater, Stand Up Paddleboard, Canoe Polo, Canoe Sailing, Outrigger, and Dragon Boat. For more information about USA Canoe/Kayak, please visit us on the web at, on Twitter at @usacanoekayak and Like us on Facebook at