History of Kayak/Canoe Races in the Olympics

This sport was first introduced at the Paris Olympics in 1942 as an exhibition event. At the 1936 Berlin Olympics, it was added officially for men with a total of nine events. Back then, the longest event was 10,000 meters long! Twelve years later at the London Olympics, canoe/kayak events were added for women. Events are constantly changing, due to changes in the sport, efforts to achieve gender equality, and interest. The longest distance of any event today is 1000 meters. The Tokyo Olympics will showcase only the 20th instances of canoe/kayak events.