Olympic white-water racing plans are made

April 23, 1992

It's being billed as The Paddle Battle on the Savage River in Western Maryland.

There will be clowns, mimes, bands and concessions. The more adventurous can even paddle a canoe or take a white-water raft ride down a river. But the main event, May 16-17, will be the 1992 U.S. Olympic team trials for white-water slalom racing.

State officials presented their final plans for the Olympic trials yesterday. Tickets for each session will be $10, free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult. Tickets for the trials, which will be held near Bloomington, are available at all area TicketMaster outlets.

More than 100 paddlers will compete for 15 spots in four classes of boats: one- and two-man canoe, and women's and men's kayak.

"If you can't make it to the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, the trials offer the next best seat in the house," said Don Storck, chairman of the local organizing committee.

Although the focus will be on the competition, organizers say they will provide two days of family entertainment, turning a state park into a midway for outdoor adventures. It's all part of a long-term plan to boost tourism in Western Maryland and introduce an Adventure Sports Institute program at Garrett Community College.

"This is good stuff for Maryland," said Mark Wasserman, secretary of Maryland's Department of Economic and Employment Development. "The world will be watching this event."

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