2024 Americas Continental Olympic Qualifier & Panam Canoe Sprint Championships to Be Held at Nathan Benderson Park

Dozens of sprint canoe and kayak athletes will convene in Sarasota in hopes of securing a qualification spot for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The American Canoe Association (ACA), the Pan American Canoe Federation (COPAC) and Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) are delighted to announce the upcoming 2024 Canoe Sprint Americas Continental Olympic Qualifier and Pan American Championships, scheduled to take place at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida, from April 23rd to 25th. This prestigious event is proudly supported by Visit Sarasota County. 

With 17 countries represented from North, Central, and South America, this event marks the last opportunity for athletes to secure their spots for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Following last year’s World Championship event where American athletes earned one quota, this event serves as the final chance for countries to secure their spots for Paris. 

The competition will feature Olympic qualification events for both men and women, including the MK1 1000m, MC1 1000m, WK1 500m, and WC1 200m, where 1st and 2nd place in each event may secure qualification. Additionally, 1st place in the MK2 500m, MC2 500m, WK2 500m, and WC2 500m events will also earn qualification spots. Alongside the Olympic qualifiers, the Panam Championship Events will showcase thrilling races such as the MK1 500m, MC1 500m, WK1 200m, WC1 500m, MK4 500m, and WK4 500m. 

"This event holds immense significance for athletes across the Americas," said Beth Spilman, Executive Director of the American Canoe Association. "Not only does it offer the last opportunity for Olympic qualification, but it also represents the culmination of years of dedication and hard work for these athletes. We're proud to host this event in collaboration with Canoe Kayak Canada and look forward to witnessing the remarkable performances on display." 

Nathan Benderson Park, renowned for its flat-water courses, will witness intense competition across distances of 200m, 500m, and 1000m, featuring both canoe and kayak events. With around 100 athletes participating over the three days, spectators can expect riveting displays of athleticism and skill. 

Among the hopefuls aiming for Olympic qualification are Jonas Ecker and Aaron Small, who will compete in the Men's Kayak Double (MK2) 500m event. Notably, Nevin Harrison, the reigning Olympic Champion for the Women's Canoe Single 200m event from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, has already secured her spot for Paris. 

Entry to the event is free for spectators, with only parking fees applicable at Nathan Benderson Park. Don't miss this exhilarating opportunity to witness top-tier athletes vying for their chance at Olympic glory. For more information on the event, please visit https://americancanoe.org/2024-americas-canoe-sprint-olympic-continental-qualifier-pan-american-championships/


About American Canoe Association 

The American Canoe Association was founded in 1880 and is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves as the National Governing Body for Canoe/Kayak as well as serving the broader paddling public by providing educational programs, supporting stewardship initiatives that affect paddlers, and offering competition opportunities to athletes of all abilities. The ACA has over 15,000 members and 300 paddling clubs and affiliated organizations. The ACA provides insurance to hundreds of events and races every year. The ACA education program has an estimated reach of over 800,000 people per year. ACA members reside in all 50 states and over 35 countries worldwide. For more, visit americancanoe.org

About Visit Sarasota County 

Visit Sarasota County (VSC) is the official tourism marketing entity and primary provider of visitor information for Sarasota County where tourism is the top industry. It is accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program, a program of the Destination Management Association International (DMAI). VSC meets the highest standards of professionalism, leadership, fiscal management, and ethical principles. Visit www.visitsarasota.com for more information. 

About Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy 

Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy’s vision of Nathan Benderson Park is to serve as a global, innovative, and premier destination that welcomes and connects people, while fostering a healthy, sustainable and safe environment. NBPC is a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to manage and promote Nathan Benderson Park as a world-class recreational destination, enhancing the quality of life for our community and generating economic impact for our region. Sarasota County has entrusted the Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy with the complete day-to-day care of this 600-acre community asset. As the stewards of the Park, the Conservancy tends to the complex maintenance, visitor services, event management, outreach programs and so much more. For more, please visit: https://nathanbendersonpark.org/ 

Media Contact 

Knight Strategic Communications Mia Kurecki 

941.408.3742 [email protected]