The long shadow of history cast over the man-made course in Maryland as more than 200 competitors from over 40 nations gathered last week to compete.
The slalom races marked the first time that the United States played host to the world championship in 25 years, since the 1989 worlds on the nearby Savage River went down as one of the great moments in U.S. whitewater history.
But with the last runs of this year’s ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships on Sunday afternoon in McHenry, Md., the 2014 worlds had written its own page in the annals of whitewater racing. It was one that featured the promising talent of young American athletes like Michal Smolen and Zachary Lokken. We also witnessed as U.S. paddler Fabien Lefevre captured gold in C-1, now holding medals in every boat class of slalom racing: K-1, C-1, and C-2. And we watched as Jessica Fox, the 20-year-old from Australia, crossed the finish line to clinch both the women’s K-1 and C-1 titles — a historic feat that capped off a remarkable world championships.