Around Carolina: U.S. National Whitewater Center
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Extremely challenging whitewater exists in an unlikely place, just outside of Charlotte.
"It's a world-class facility. We have challenging whitewater and we have everything we need to accommodate ourselves," said Michal Smolen, from Krakow, Poland.
Smolen and others from near and far use the U.S. National Whitewater Center as their base of training, hoping to increase their abilities for canoe and kayak competitions.
"It's really exciting to be out here on the course. The eddies are really powerful, there's a lot of push in this channel," Michelle Kvanli, from Austin, Texas, said.
The waterway itself is manmade. This sort of training used to be done on natural rivers but an artificial channel such as this can be set up in many different ways to provide a variety of challenges and learning opportunities.
The canoe slalom Olympic trials will be held at the center Thursday through Saturday.
Making a canoe or kayak team is the first goal for those who train here, but ultimately they'd like to find themselves on the medal stand a few months from now. If that happens, some of the credit will go to the center and to Charlotte.