World Championships attract athletes from across the world
WAUSAU (WAOW) -
A major whitewater competition kicks off on Wednesday.
Athletes from around the world will be competing this week in Wausau at the Junior and U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships.
On Tuesday night, the athletes got a taste of central Wisconsin at the Opening Ceremony. But the real action starts Wednesday morning.
Next to the Olympics, this is the biggest event in the sport.
The World Championships is held every two years. The last competition was held in France. Wausau hasn't hosted the world championships since 1994.
"It's great that we are having it here," said Lerina Bright, International Canoe Federation Public Relations Manager. "Especially you know, two weeks away from the Olympic games, so it's a good platform to launch canoeing at the games."
This year several Olympians are competing at Whitewater Park. Because of the high level of competition, they say it's a good warm-up to the Olympics in London.
"It's great to get as much experience as possible," said Casey Eichfeld, U.S. Olympian. "To be able to do such a high ranking race so close to the Olympics is fantastic for us."
But for those not heading to London, the world championships could pave the way for a trip to Rio de Janeiro in 2016.