Kayak like an Olympian in OKC

The world came to Oklahoma City before heading to Rio.

Outside the United States, “canoeing” refers to canoeing or kayaking, which are differentiated by the paddle. The canoe has one blade, the kayak has two. The competition is Rio when it comes to kayak slalom has been keeping viewers and new fans to the sport on the edge of their seat. It may have inspired you to try it out for yourself.

While canoe/kayak slalom is a pretty fringe sport in the U.S., it has taken off in Oklahoma City and they have a new kayak and rafting course, right in Downtown OKC that will make your feel like an Olympian. In fact the Rio Olympic trials for kayak/slalom were held at the brand new RIVERSPORT Rapids whitewater rafting and kayaking center as the facility opened in early May.

Only open for about three months, the OKC facility has been lauded internationally for it's design, location and offering a recreational sports complex for those looking to tackle the rapids on a kayak or guided raft.This is a $45.2 million kayaking and rafting river sport complex that has put no debt on the city itself, it's fully funded and paid for.

Designed and constructed for both family fun and elite athlete training, the 11-acre RIVERSPORT Rapids whitewater center was completed as part of MAPS 3, the one-cent sales tax initiative dedicated to metro area projects. Recirculating channels pumping treated water create class II-IV rapids and offer a range of experiences for whitewater rafting, tubing, kayaking and canoeing.The lower flow channel offers great family rafting and tubing experiences – no previous experience necessary. High-octane Class IV rapids on the Olympic style course will challenge elite athletes from around the world for both training and competition. Both courses are a challenge, but fun. Just listen to your trained guide and his instructions and you will be safe and have a blast!

Spectators will enjoy watching all the action from the new Big Water Grill restaurant overlooking the rapids, and be sure to check out the live music events, floating films, urban camping and family festivals planned throughout the year. There is still plenty of time left in 2016 to venture to OKC and experience the rapids with the skyline of Downtown OKC as your backdrop.

Day passes along with monthly and annual memberships are available.

Oklahoma City realizes what a unique venue and opportunity RIVERSPORTS offers, so they have dozens of ancillary events happening on property for residents and visitors. One such event is the The Floating Films series at RIVERSPORT Rapids which features popular movies. Movies are projected outdoors at the new RIVERSPORT Rapids whitewater rafting & kayaking center. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and watch the film for free from the banks of the lower pond or rent a tube or raft ($10 per person) for the full Floating Film experience! Tubing is included with your All Access Day or Annual Pass.

The film shown on on August 12 was "Without a Paddle." Go figure...