La Seu saddles up for another big canoe slalom show

2017 was a big year for the iconic canoe slalom venue at La Seu, Spain, a chance to celebrate a significant anniversary in the history of the sport and the course.

It was 25 years exactly from when canoe slalom made its return to the summer Olympic program, in Barcelona in 1992, at the La Seu venue which hosted last year’s World Cup final.

Since 1992, La Seu has been a regular on the canoe slalom international circuit, hosting World Cups, World Cup finals, European Championships, and two World Championships.

Next year, 2019, La Seu will host another World Championships, keeping up the tradition of hosting this blue riband event every ten years after hosting in 1999 and 2009.

But before then, La Seu has another World Cup final to host in September this year. The event where season champions are decided, and the important lead-up event for the World Championships, which this year will be held at the 2016 Olympic venue in Rio, Brazil.

“La Seu has 12,000 citizens, hosting this kind of events is very important in relation with the number of people living in the area,” committee organizer, Meritxell Rodriguez, said.

“Another big benefit is the legacy that we leave on the facility and we keep it in the mind of all the people who love canoe slalom.”

The La Seu committee is used to organising big events, but this year is producing extra challenges. On a packed sporting calendar, this small Spanish town finds its schedule particularly busy in 2018.

“This year La Seu is organising the Special Olympic Games with Andorra and this takes us space,” Rodriguez said.

“But every citizen knows that in September we have the World Cup, and they really enjoy that week because La Seu is a vibrant city thanks to slalom.

“During the year we are a small organising committee and everyone who is involved has another former job, so we can’t dedicate as much time as we would. But what we do, we do it with passion.”

That passion is this year being channeled towards improving some of the “backstage” aspects that come with hosting a major international event.

Rodriguez, herself an international paddler, knows it’s the little things that can make an event ‘special’.

“We are just thinking and looking if we can improve some aspects on our organisation, such as catering, logistics, athletes’ area,” she said.

“Athletes, officials and spectators can look forward to a vibrant city with an Olympic facility and beautiful places near La Seu.”

The 2018 ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup final will be held in La Seu, Spain, from September 7 until 9.

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