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8 fun whitewater courses around the world

By: Josh Lew on Oct. 11, 2013, 11 a.m.
Augsburg Eiskanal, Germany

Photo: buzzard525/Wikimedia Commons

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Augsburg Eiskanal, Germany

This set of man-made rapids in Augsburg, Germany, was the first whitewater course of its kind in the world. Built for the 1972 Summer Olympics, hosted in nearby Munich, the sculpted cement course is still used today. While modern Olympic whitewater venues are built with grandstands and bleachers along their banks, the Eiskanal's spectator areas were landscaped into the riverbanks, creating a natural viewing space with terraced sections of grassy lawn.

The Eiskanal moves through a series of closeable doors, making it possible to control the volume of water that flows down the course (the more water, the more skill needed to safely and successfully run the rapids). Recently, world championships for whitewater canoe and kayak slalom were held here.