Boathouse District renews designation as U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation and the United States Olympic Committee announced today the renewal of a contract to maintain the Boathouse District as a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site.
Designated as an official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site in 2009, the Boathouse District continues to serve Team USA, housing 40 national team athletes in the sports of rowing, para-rowing, and canoe/kayak. Additionally, the Boathouse District has served as a community-based Paralympic Sport Club since 2011.
“We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation as an official Olympic and Paralympic Training Site,” said Alicia McConnell, USOC director of training sites and community partnerships. “We are grateful for the Boathouse District’s continued support and thrilled to have a world-class facility that will aid in the development of future Olympians and Paralympians in the United States.”
USA Canoe/Kayak moved its headquarters to the Boathouse District in 2011. Numerous U.S. Sprint Senior and Junior National Team members are based in Oklahoma City, including Kaitlyn McElroy, Maggie Hogan, and Cedric Bond. Oklahoma City University's varsity kayak program trains on the Oklahoma River. The Boathouse District will soon be home to an artificial whitewater center, which will attract Olympic hopefuls in slalom canoe/kayak.
“The Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation sets the highest standard for US Olympic and Paralympic Training Sites," said USA Canoe/Kayak CEO Joe Jacobi. "From grassroots to high performance, the Oklahoma River delivers the best attributes of the Olympic movement to our athletes, stakeholders and our Oklahoma City community. And during the course of this agreement, we are excited to welcome Canoe Slalom into the mix of sports at the Oklahoma Boathouse District with the opening the whitewater center in 2015.”
The Boathouse District is one of 15 U.S. Olympic Training Sites – and one of six that also serve Paralympic programs – throughout the nation. The Boathouse District’s elite training center provides additional resources, services and facilities for athletes and National Governing Bodies to ensure sport development.
With the partnership renewal, national team athletes will continue to utilize the OKC National High Performance Training Center, two 4,000-meter courses on the Oklahoma River and the Route 66 Boathouse at Lake Overholser. The facility annually provides more than 8,000 training days for national team athletes, and will help prepare Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls for the 2016 Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
“We’re excited to serve the community and our country by partnering with the United States Olympic Committee,” said Mike Knopp, Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation executive director. “The Boathouse District is committed to enhancing lives through creating opportunities for fitness and physical activity for all, including opportunities to represent our country on the world stage. This continued partnership and designation as an official U.S. Olympic Training Site helps us set the way for Team USA athletes as they prepare for the Rio Games in 2016.”
In 2012, U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Sites provided elite-level services to nearly 600 national team athletes, serving 17 NGBs and U.S. Paralympics.
In addition to providing services to Team USA athlete, the Boathouse District has also hosted international competitions and athletes from Canada, Germany, Italy and Mexico. The Boathouse District also hosted the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Sprint Canoe, and helped prepare six Olympians and two Paralympians for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.
Additionally, the Boathouse District was recently selected to host the 2014 International Canoe Federation Marathon World Championships, marking the first time the event will be hosted in the United States.
About the U.S. Olympic Committee
Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., the United States Olympic Committee serves as both the National Olympic Committee and National Paralympic Committee for the United States. As such, the USOC is responsible for the training, entering and funding of U.S. teams for the Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games, while serving as a steward of the Olympic and Paralympic movements throughout the country. For more information, visit TeamUSA.org.
About the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation
The OKC Boathouse Foundation promotes the use and development of the Oklahoma River as a world-class urban aquatic venue and provides access to rowing, kayaking and fitness programs for people of all ages and abilities. OKCBF programs pursue the highest goals of sports and embrace the principles of the Olympic spirit which inspire athletes to work toward personal excellence, embrace the power of teamwork, and practice respect for all people and the environment. To learn more or get involved, call (405) 552-4040 or visit boathousedistrict.org, facebook.com/OklahomaCityRiversport or twitter.com/okcbhd