One week from today the Tokyo Olympics will finally open, and canoe sprint and slalom athletes from all over the globe will be ready to show the world the thrill and excitement of their sport.

Nearly all of the 82 canoe slalom athletes entered in the Tokyo Olympic Games have arrived in the Japanese city, and have spoken glowingly of the facilities and the event organisation.

The athletes from a record 35 countries have been training at the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre, under strict quarantine conditions. They have taken to social media to share their excitement at being in the Olympic city, and to praise the professionalism of Tokyo 2020 organisers and volunteers.

“Almost a week in Tokyo and loving the trip so far! Hotel room is huge, weather is warm and the course is super fun,” New Zealand’s Callum Gilbert posted on Facebook.

“Feeling super delighted to be back to this venue and to learn all the waves by heart again,” Germany’s Ricarda Funk said on Instagram.

“When I qualified for the Games I never thought I’d be in quarantine lifting weights in a hotel room looking out on Tokyo Bay. Despite all this there is still something extraordinary about this competition and I’m very much enjoying the whole process,” Ireland’s Liam Jegou posted.

“Buzzing to be back on the course here in Tokyo. Some big changes to parts of the course. But definitely for the better,” New Zealand’s Luuka Jones wrote on Instagram.

The first of the canoe sprint athletes have also arrived in Tokyo, with competition due to begin at the Sea Forest Waterway course on the second week of the competition. There will be 249 athletes competing in canoe sprint.

The canoe slalom competition begins on Sunday, July 25, and runs through until Friday, July 30. The sprint schedule begins on Monday, August 2, with the final medals decided on Saturday, August 7.

It will be the ninth appearance at an Olympics for canoe slalom, while canoe sprint will be celebrating its 20th Games. Of particular excitement this year will be the introduction of canoe events for women in both sprint and slalom, making these Olympics the first where there will be equal events for both men and women.

Canoe Sprint
Canoe Slalom