USA Canoe/Kayak moving its headquarters to Oklahoma City

Move of USA Canoe/Kayak more evidence of how the Boathouse District is changing Oklahoma City.
BY ED GODFREY egodfrey@opubco.com Modified: December 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm •  Published: December 13, 2011

Ten years ago, the Oklahoma River didn't have water.

Now it will be home to the national governing body for the Olympic sports of flatwater sprint and white-water slalom.

USA Canoe/Kayak announced Tuesday that it is relocating its headquarters from Charlotte, N.C., to Oklahoma City.

“We are proud to be the only Olympic sport that is based in Oklahoma now,” said Joe Jacobi, chief executive officer for USA Canoe/Kayak.

The move by USA Canoe/Kayak to Oklahoma City is more evidence of how the Boathouse District is changing the national perception that Oklahomans still live in a dust bowl, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said.

“We've built a river that's become that's become not only a health and fitness destination for our citizens, but a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic training site for our nation's Olympic kayakers and rowers,” Cornett said.

USA Canoe/Kayak will share offices and staff with the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation.

“It's very cool to be in the center of the country where we can serve the sport better,” Jacobi said.

‘Real game-changers'

No other city in the country has shown more commitment to the sports of rowing and kayaking than Oklahoma City, he said.

“I know it looks like a flat river, but that (Oklahoma River) has more momentum than any river in the country right now,” he said.

Permanent lights are going to be added on the Oklahoma River racecourse, and a white-water center is scheduled to be built.

“Becoming the headquarters of a national governing board is a testament to how powerful the MAPS initiatives truly are in influencing our ability to recreate and redefine the city,” Cornett said.

“We don't really know what this is going to lead to. But I suspect it will lead to things we cannot imagine today.”

AT A GLANCE

USA Canoe/Kayak is a non-profit membership organization now based in Oklahoma City that promotes canoe and kayak racing in the United States.

A member of the United States Olympic Committee, USA Canoe/Kayak is the national governing body for the Olympic sports of flatwater sprint and whitewater slalom and the official United States federation of the International Canoe Federation.

Other paddling sports sanctioned by USA Canoe/Kayak include marathon, freestyle, wildwater, stand up paddleboard, canoe polo, canoe sailing, outrigger and dragon boat.



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