As the new year begins, we resolve to preview the coming sports year in Baltimore and beyond

Movers, shakers and newsmakers of 2007

Whitewater Rafting

In the race between Charlotte, N.C., and

January 01, 2007|By CANDUS THOMSON | CANDUS THOMSON,SUN REPORTER

In the race between Charlotte, N.C., and Garrett County to build the first Olympic-caliber artificial whitewater course, our neighbor to the south won.

The $25 million facility opened last summer in time to play host to the national whitewater championships. The slalom course also was sanctioned by the U.S. Olympic Committee as an official training facility.

In the long run, however, the nonprofit Adventure Sports Center International near Deep Creek Lake may do better once it turns on the spigot in April. Civic and political leaders tied construction of the $22 million facility to the new Whitewater Hall of Fame, Garrett College's adventure sports degree program and the Wisp ski resort, giving cash-strapped athletes in training a way to earn a living. They hired Matt Taylor, a two-time Olympian and well-respected member of the whitewater community, to lead the program.

But perhaps best of all, ASCI has been selected as the site of the 2007 Whitewater Slalom National Championships on Aug. 4--5, just one year before the Summer Games in Beijing.

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