Columbus could host major kayaking tournaments, decision made by summer

Columbus could host major kayaking tournaments, decision made by summer

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Columbus could soon be seeing some of the world’s best kayakers if selected as the hosting spot for two major whitewater tournaments.

According to the president and CEO of Whitewater Express, Dan Gilbert, a bid is in for the Canoe Sprint World Cup and the ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships.

Gilbert says a normal year draws about 50,000 people to the river, but the large cup games could bring hundreds upon thousands of people to the area.

“It would have a major impact,” said Gilbert. “What we are doing right now, probably 85-percent of our guests drive more than an hour to come here and go whitewater rafting. All those people spend money on hotels, eating, gasoline... they spend a lot of money and it has a big impact on Uptown Columbus certainly.”

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world cup will be held next year. The world championship will be held in 2023 or 2024.

Copyright 2021 WTVM. All rights reserved.