The International Olympic Committee and organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have confirmed this year’s Games will be the first ever gender-balanced Olympics in history – and the International Canoe Federation is proud of the role it has played in reaching this milestone.

The ICF will also achieve gender balance at the Tokyo Games, with the inclusion of two women’s canoe events on the sprint programme, and C1 on the canoe slalom schedule.

Gender parity comes after a focused campaign to strengthen women’s canoeing around the globe. Women’s canoe in both sprint and slalom has grown from disciplines involving just a handful of athletes from a small number of countries, to a strong international competition with competitors from all over the world.

The ICF is also working hard to increase the number of women in leadership roles, at international, national and local club levels. This year the ICF has supported the participation of three female leaders in an ASOIF Women Lead Sports online leadership course.

“Like many sports, we still have work to do before we are truly gender equal,” ICF President, Jose Perurena, said.

“We have achieved this milestone in Olympic competition, and now we must focus on our boardrooms. We are already blessed with many outstanding women who are taking on important leadership roles at every level, but we must encourage more.

“The future success of our sport depends on us getting this right. To have 50-50 representation at all levels of the ICF should no longer be the exception, but rather the rule.”

Canoe Sprint
Canoe Slalom