The incredible atmosphere from live race commentary

The atmosphere of canoe slalom comes alive through excellent live race commentary. Here we explore how the commentary makes such an incredible difference to the excitement and feeling at these competitions.


Deodoro live canoe slalom commentary team 

Your live race commentators for Rio 2016 in Deodoro are Andy Maddock, Tatau Santos and Pedro Oliva. Maddock and Santos worked together on both the Canoe Sprint and Canoe Slalom test events in 2015.

Maddock comes with experience as a paddler, coach and team manager, having been the regular English voice of Canoe Slalom on venue since 2009 at European Championships, World Cups, World Championships and Olympic Games. He has been the regular English language commentator for Eurosport television since 2003.

“I am very proud of the London Olympic Lee Valley legacy, which continues to have influence through the development of a performance centre and club base on site in 2013”, says Maddock. “Hosting the world championships in 2015 was an incredibly proud moment for me and heading up the sports presentation team at the 2015 Worlds was a great privilege. I have been canoeing since the age of 7 and although now more likely on a road bike than in a boat, my passion for the sport of Canoe slalom still burns bright.” 

Santos is well known to the Brazilian team members and a part of the Brazilian Canoe Slalom community. He originates in the Parana region in the south of Brazil and provided commentary for the 2007 World Champs and the 2015 ICF Junior & U23 World Championships both held at Foz Do Iguacu.

ICF Planet Canoe #ICFslalom Andy Maddock @gregiej Rio2016 Canoe Slalom

The commentary will feature over the 5 days of competition. Some pre-recorded video will help inform and entertain the 8,4000 assembled spectators at the X-Park.

The format of racing creates the ideal platform for an incredible atmosphere as the fastest athletes go off last in the final. The 3-minute intervals are long enough for athletes still to race to know what they have to beat to win - this is where mental toughness is vital.

The commentators will have several pieces of technology at their disposal to provide you the best live race commentary. First, they have a good view of much of the course including the finish. This is supplemented by camera feeds along the course, so they can watch the paddlers down. Their computer screens will show the running time of each paddler and whether they have incurred any penalties. They will also see a split time on the course to know whether the paddler on the course is up on the paddler with the leading time.

 ICF Planet Canoe #ICFslalom Andy Maddock @gregiej Rio2016 Canoe Slalom

The commentators know these Olympic paddlers well.  Oliva will be able to get out on the course side to talk to paddlers at the finish of their runs to capture the emotion and insights from the paddlers. You should expect them to help explain the basics of the sport, terminology and the names of the features on the course.

They will provide you background into the athletes on the course and those still waiting to start. They will describe the technical performance of each paddler as they battle this spectacular whitewater. 

I was fortunate to commentate on several international canoe slalom races, including the ’95 World’s in Nottingham together with US co-commentators Kent Ford and Lamar Sims.  Ex-Olympians, such as  London Olympic silver medallist, Vavra Hradilek (CZE:K1M).will be providing commentary to their national TV stations. 

Listen out for the wonderful commentary in Portuguese and English. It will be incredibly tense with medals decided by the final run of the last competitor! We know that specific nations will be very loud as they cheer on their athletes.

“One thing is for sure”, continues Maddock, “We will be crowning a new C1M Olympic champion after the domination of Estanguet (FRA) and Martikan (SVK) with 5 titles between them neither are racing in Rio.”

ICF Planet Canoe #ICFslalom Balint Vekassy @gregiej Rio2016 Canoe Slalom


Keep tuning in

Tomorrow post previews day 1 of the heats.

We welcome your interaction. Remember to use hashtag #ICFslalom across all social media. Please comment through @PlanetCanoe on Twitter


Photos courtesy of Balint Vekassy & Andy Maddock

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Canoe Slalom
Andy Maddock
Tatau Santos
Pedro Oliva