Olympic rower James Cracknell has attempted a new form of water sport by testing the London 2012 canoe course.
Writing for the Telegraph, the former Olympic champion explained how he attempted to break the traditional rivalry between rowers and canoeists by completing the Lee Valley slalom course.
The white-water, high-speed event became a regular Olympic sport in 1992 and Great Britain has a history of performing well – winning at least one medal at each Games held since 2000. With the home advantage a factor this year it is hoped that Team GB will succeed in winning even more medals in the growing sport.
Cracknell described the experience as akin to being a F1 driver with every corner counting along the course as he struggled to stay in control during his descent.
He added: “The feeling of euphoria began to wash over me. It was replaced a second later by the course itself washing over me as we capsized, a further example (if one was needed) that the margins between success and failure in this sport are incredibly small. “
The Lee Valley White Water Centre is a short distance from the centre of London via the national rail network and Liverpool Street Station. Those with tickets to the canoeing events should look to book central London hotels as soon as possible as all the action will begin on the course on Sunday July 29th.
After the London 2012 Games, the two new canoe slalom facilities will remain in place proving a 300-metre competition track and a 160-mile training course. It is hoped the centre will be developed into a key venue for canoeing professionals and enthusiasts.