2017 ICF PAU CANOE WORLD CHAMIONSHIPS - Nominee for the 2017 Industry Professional of the Year Award
For the first time in history, the best athletes from Canoe Slalom, Wildwater and Extreme Slalom competed in a combined World Championship event hosted in Pau, France. The Championships, held from the 23 September – 1 October, accommodated over 500 whitewater athletes from 65 nations. While the pinnacle events for Wildwater and Canoe Slalom have previously been held at the same venue, this is the first time that the World Championships have been contested at the same time.
Located at the foot of the Pyrenees, the city of Pau has a history of hosting major sporting events such as the Tour de France and the Grand Prix. This 2017 World Championships was the big finale of a three-year competition cycle organised in Pau. The venue had previously hosted the 2015 Canoe Slalom World Cup and the first combined Canoe Slalom and Wildwater World Cup in 2016.
These Championships were certainly the best the three disciplines have seen in terms of organisation and entertainment, having offered the best conditions for both athletes and spectators. The seven members of the organising committee were joined by a staggering 430 volunteers. These passionate volunteers dedicated their time in the lead up and over the course of the week, playing an immense role in the success of the event.
Three-time Olympic Champion, Tony Estanguet, was one of the driving forces behind the even promotion. In an emotional speech at the Opening Ceremony, the national hero showed his commitment and involvement in the Pau Canoe World Championships.
The venue thrilled a capacity home crowd and managed to fill the stands even in poor weather conditions. An estimated 50 000 spectators attended over the course of the week, generating a never-before-seen electric atmosphere for a Canoeing World Championship. The IOC and Minister for Sports joined Estanguet on the river bank to share the experience first hand
The championships were one of the most successful kayaking events technologically wise. The finals were broadcasted on the major national channel, France 2. All parts of the venue, including the athlete village, restaurant and Team Leaders lounge, were equipped with a televised live stream. The live commentary and streaming on the Jumbotron screens created an electric atmosphere for both the athletes and spectators.
The host country of the 2024 Olympics Games, shared their passion for sport in this successful world championship proved their capability in hosting pinnacle events.
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