In November 2015 Whitewater Parks International (WPI), completed its third Olympic project - the Rio 2016 Canoe Slalom competition venue and whitewater stadium - part of the Deodoro
Sports Complex and one of several facilites that remain after the Games as an adventure sports activity center known as Parque Radical or the "X-Park".
WPI worked closely over the course of three years with the Deodoro planning consortium of Vigliecca & Associates, the City of Rio de Janeiro, the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, Queiroz Galvao Construction, and the International Canoe Federation to deliver what has been heralded as the best Olympic whitewater course to date. The venue has also already realized a successful pre and post Games legacy in providing recreation opportunities for surrounding communities.
The Deodoro Whitewater Stadium consists of two independently accessed channels - a Class III-IV Olympic standard competition channel that can be used for commercial rafting and other forms of whitewater recreation. There is also a Class II-III training channel that doubles as an instruction / recreation area.
Faced with an extremely time- challenged schedule for completing the facility in advance of the 2016 Games, WPI's helped shorten design timeframes and kept construction on schedule for successful completion. The City of Rio's Sport Venues Technical Coordinator Eduardo Mazzi observed, "WPI's commitment has been essential to achieving our goals.”
After the Olympic Canoe Slalom events in 2016, "Parque Radical" became a permanent legacy venue that caters to rafters, paddlers, bathers and many other water-loving enthusiasts. Additionally, the Park offers BMX and mountain biking opportunities to a host of outdoor adventurers.
At the Olympic Test Event, held in December 2015, athletes and managers praised the technical demands of the course. Simon Toulson, Secretary General of the International Canoe Federation, also had high acclaim for the completed venue. It is one of the best in the world, if not the best,” said Toulson. “It's a real success."
Working together with our colleagues at Cundall, who provide engineering support for many of WPI's whitewater projects, we pursued a number of sustainable design elements for the Rio 2016 project that reduced both construction costs and energy demands.
As part of the design process, WPI constructed a scale model of the Deodoro channels with our colleagues at the Czech Technical University Hydraulic Laboratory in Prague. The model served to demonstrate overall hydraulic behaviors and helped shorten construction and commissioning processes.
MORE about our hydraulic models
VIDEO highlighting the modeling process