OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma – The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has announced that the 2022 Sprint Canoe Super Cup and 2022 ICF Stand Up Paddleboarding World Cup previously awarded to Moscow, Russia will be relocated to Oklahoma. City, OK, USA. The events will take place in August and the final dates will be announced at the beginning of April. The move follows the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) directive to move the international competition out of Russia following the Russian invasion and war in Ukraine.
“The ICF and Paddle Sports family is fortunate and immensely grateful to our friends at the ACA and RIVERSPORT in Oklahoma City, USA who offered to host a high profile competition on short notice. in these difficult times for sports in the aftermath of the war in Ukraine,” said ICF President Thomas Konietzko.
“RIVERSPORT hosted the 2021 ICF Super Cup event and has the infrastructure and community support to successfully host the 2022 event. We are delighted to be able to return to this very exciting venue.”
The ICF contacted the American Canoe Association (ACA) late last week to explore the possibility of moving both events to Oklahoma City.
“Even before the ICF approached us, we were exploring options to help Ukrainian athletes. Relocating events from Russia to the United States is both a challenge and an opportunity, and we look forward to welcoming our Ukrainian friends and other international athletes to Oklahoma City this summer,” said Rok Sribar, Director general of ACA’s high performance programs.
“When we were approached to organize the moved events, it was a resounding yes from everyone involved,” said Michael Ming, Chairman of the Board of the RIVERSPORT Foundation. “Everyone, from the Governor of Oklahoma State to David Holt, the Mayor of Oklahoma City, to our board members and staff, wants to exemplify the Olympic ideal of using the sport to build a better world.”
Photo courtesy: ICF
In 2021, after the Tokyo Olympics, athletes from more than a dozen countries traveled to Oklahoma for the international Canoe Sprint Super Cup televised event held on the Oklahoma River. It was the first time the event was held at night under stadium lights on the river.
“The Oklahoma River is the only sanctioned racetrack in the world that has permanent lighting for night racing,” explained RIVERSPORT Executive Director Mike Knopp. “Athletes and spectators around the world were enthusiastic about this unique racing experience. It just adds another level of excitement to an already adrenaline-fueled event.
Previous ICF Sprint Canoe Super Cups have been held in Barnaul, Russia, Linyi, China and Oklahoma City, USA. The events feature sprint and distance races for the best canoe sprint paddlers from around the world.
The ICF has organized two world-class SUP competitions in 2020 and 2021, including impressive world championships in Balatonfured, Hungary. The ICF reinforces its commitment to SUP with three world cup races in addition to its world championships in 2022. In early May, the world cups will take place in Thun, Switzerland, Budapest, Hungary, in mid -June, and in Oklahoma City. in August.
“We are fortunate that our racetrack and racing facilities are large enough to accommodate both events over the course of a weekend,” Knopp said. “We are still working to establish the exact date, but it will be towards the end of August.”
The RIVERSPORT Board of Directors will work with state and city officials and the business community to provide funding and hospitality for the event.
“We look forward to welcoming athletes and international federations to both events. I know the people of Oklahoma will show them the kind of hospitality that we are known for around the world,” Knopp said.
Connor Baxter at the 2021 ICF Championships. | Photo courtesy: ICF
About the International Canoe Federation
The International Canoe Federation is responsible for the worldwide sport of canoeing and has 167 affiliated national associations and 13 disciplines – Sprint, Slalom, Paracanoe, Wildwater, Marathon, Canoe Polo, Freestyle, Ocean Racing, Dragon Boat, SUP, Rafting, WaveSki and Canoe Veil. Canoeing has two Olympic disciplines, with sprint introduced at the Berlin Olympics in 1936 and slalom at the Munich Olympics in 1972; Canoeing also made its debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with Paracanoe. To learn more about the International Canoe Federation, visit canoeicf.com