In a nation where the prevalence of paddlesport athletes has been, historically, a humble stream compared to the roaring rivers of global competition, the U.S. National Canoe and Kayak Teams are gearing up for a monumental reinvigoration.

Leading up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024, highlights include very promising performances from young and talented athletes, the debut of kayak cross in the Olympic program, and an increase in access to paddlesport participation fueled by community whitewater parks, which have amazing potential to grow our sports. The U.S. National Canoe Sprint, Canoe Slalom and Paracanoe Teams may be pulled from a much smaller pool of athletes than that of other countries, but they have proven that size is not everything. With relentless determination and an unwavering spirit, they've maintained and, in some cases, elevated the nation's profile in a sport dominated by larger, more established programs.

Notable star Nevin Harrison, the previous canoe sprint Olympic champion in the women’s canoe single 200-meter event, has secured an Olympic quota for Paris 2024, hoping to reclaim her title. Together, with athlete Evy Leibfarth, one of the youngest and most highly decorated in U.S. canoe slalom athletes, they continue to elevate themselves, their teams, and their sports.

The 2024 Games are set to witness an electrifying spectacle as kayak cross, a new and exciting discipline, makes its Olympic debut. Kayak cross is an exhilarating head-to-head race where paddlers drop from an elevated platform into a technical whitewater course. This thrilling event promises to captivate audiences worldwide.

The increased engagement in paddlesports in the United States is further fueled by the dynamic growth of whitewater parks. These man-made marvels have sprung up near residential areas, creating accessible hubs for paddling enthusiasts of all levels as well as those new to the sport. They offer a safe, controlled environment for athletes to develop their skills and embrace the world of paddling, particularly for youth who have previously lacked access. The impact of these parks is undeniable, with paddling programs multiplying wherever they are built.

Canoe and kayak in the United States is on the cusp of exploding in popularity, setting the stage for an unforgettable journey to the 2024 Games and beyond as well look forward to the Olympic and Paralympic Games Los Angeles 2028.

Qualification for the Pan American Games Santiago 2023:

Canoe Slalom:

  • Events: 1x Men’s Kayak Single (MK1), 1x Women’s Kayak Single (WK1), 1x Men’s Canoe Single (MC1), 1x Women’s Canoe Single (WC1), 2x Men’s Kayak Cross (MX1), 2x Women’s Kayak Cross (WX1)
  • Qualification Process: Canoe slalom athletes earned quotas for the 2023 Pan American Games at the 2023 COPAC Canoe Slalom Pan American Championships in Tres Coroas, Brazil April 28-30, 2023.

Canoe Sprint:

  • Events: 1x Men’s Kayak Single (MK1) 1,000m, 1x Men’s Kayak Double (MK2) 500m, 1x Men’s Kayak Fours (MK4) 500m, 1x Men’s Canoe Single (MC1) 1,000m, 1x Men’s Canoe Double (MC2) 500m, 1x Women’s Kayak Single (WK1) 500m, 1x Women’s Kayak Double (WK2) 500m, 1x Women’s Kayak Fours (WK4) 500m, 1x Women’s Canoe Single (WC1) 200m, 1x Women’s Canoe Double (WC2) 500m
  • Qualification Process: Canoe sprint athletes earned quotas for the 2023 Pan American Games at the 2022 Pan American Championships.

Qualification for Paris 2024:

Canoe Slalom:

  • Qualifying events for Paris 2024 have not yet taken place. There are two opportunities to earn quotas:
    • Sept. 19-24, 2023: 2023 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships – Lee Valley, United Kingdom

Canoe Sprint:

  • There are two qualifying events for Paris 2024.
    • Aug. 23-27, 2023: 2023 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships – Duisburg, Germany

Canoe Kayak Roster

  • Ian Ross

  • Nathan Humberston

  • Zachary Lokken

  • Cole Jones

  • Mehana Leafchild

  • Emma McDonald

  • Sean Talbert

  • Kali Wilding

  • Kyler Long

  • Joshua Joseph

  • Marcella Altman

  • Evy Leibfarth

  • Augustus Cook

  • Jonas Ecker

  • Andreea Ghizilia

  • Jonathan Grady

  • Azusa Murphy

  • Aaron Small

  • Elena Wolgamot

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