Every four years in the year prior to the Summer Olympics, the Pan American Games are held in the Western Hemisphere. This year for the third time ever, Canada, will play the host. Events will be held throughout the province of Ontario. While the majority of the events will take place in and around the city of Toronto, others, such as the canoe and kayak races, are set to happen in Welland located across Lake Ontario approximately a half hour away from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
Welland Pan Am Flatwater Centre
The Welland Pan Am Flatwater Centre, with its eight kilometres of beautiful deep water, will host the canoe and kayak sprints. The canal where the competition takes place has actually been widened to comply with international standards. A new timing tower has been added as well as new start towers and seating for 500 spectators.
13 Medal Events
There will be 13 different medal events held at the Welland Flatwater Centre, five women’s events and eight in men’s competition. Races will vary in distance from 200 to 500 to 1,000 meters. The Toronto Pan American Games will feature the first women’s canoe C200 sprint event. Canada is the home of the current canoe-sprint champion, Laurence Vincent-Lapointe, who will be looking to win gold in front of a home crowd.
Both Canoe and Kayak Events
On the men’s side, Canada also has one of the world’s best in Adam van Koeverden. With eight World Championships and four Olympic medals to his credit, van Koeverden is a favorite to win a Pan American Games gold medal in his home country.
Competition in the canoe and kayak sprints will begin on July 11 and conclude on July 14.