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The executive board of the International Olympic Committee on Monday endorsed the proposals of Sydney organizers, who were eager to finalize their sports lineup for the games.
Whitewater kayaking, or canoe slalom, had been dropped from the program last year on grounds that construction and maintenance costs of a course were too expensive.
But organizers recently agreed to reinstate canoe slalom after a deal was reached to construct a course in the Sydney suburb of Penrith, adjacent to the rowing venue, for approximately $4.5 million. Under the accord, the New South Wales government will cover half the cost, while the international canoe federation and the Penrith City Council will split the rest.
Among those who had put pressure on Sydney to reinstate canoe slalom was French President Jacques Chirac. The French won a gold medal in the event during the Atlanta Games.
Whitewater events have been included in the Olympics only three times, at Munich (1972), Barcelona (1992) and Atlanta (1996).
[ Your editor was momentarily taken aback while trying to figure out how canoe slalom would be combined with trampolining, and highly recommends this exercise to anyone who needs a mental workout today. :-) ---Rsk ]