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Special Olympics Kayaking is kayaking where all competitors have a physical or mental disability. There are two divisions of kayaking depending on the skill level of the competitor. Special Olympics Kayaking is considered a "recognized" sport, or a sport that isn't part of official competition, but still must adhere to Special Olympics rules and guidelines. Special Olympics kayaking is a flat-water racing event where athletes compete over 200m and 500m courses, either on their own or as a pair with another athlete. Kayaking is one of the newest Special Olympics sports meant for athletes with physical or mental disabilities.


It was not until 2001 that kayaking became a part of the Special Olympics, although this was only at the state level; West Virginia added kayaking to their Special Olympics program in 2000. In 2003, kayaking became a demonstration sport at the World Summer Games in Dublin, Ireland. It was in 2007 at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, China that kayaking became an official Special Olympics sport. Special Olympics Great Britain athletes joined top Olympic kayakers, including Olympic Bronze Medalists Ian Wynne and Tim Brabants, at the 2006 Special Olympics Great Britain National Kayaking Regatta on 3-5 June 2006 at Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre in Nottingham. The event took place as part of a British Canoe Union event, giving Special Olympics athletes the opportunity to demonstrate their ability alongside mainstream paddlers on a 2000-meter regatta lake.