The slalom venue has been a real focal point of the previous Games, bringing together the world's best slalom paddlers on a visually appealing extreme whitewater course certainly adds an extra dimension to the spectacular 26-sport Games.
"Each time construction starts on an Olympic venue it's special. It's exciting to see the sporting environment evolve as we move closer to the Games, and to witness all the elements come together ready for another celebration of the pinnacle of sporting achievement," said José Peruena ICF President and IOC Member.
Three of the nine venues in the complex already exist, a legacy of the 2007 Pan-American Games and the 2011 World Military Games. Deodoro will host 11 Olympic and four Paralympic sports when Rio stages the first edition of the Games in South America.
“This is a very important day,” said Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman. “We are very proud to see work start on Deodoro Olympic Park. It underlines the important legacy that the Pan-American Games left to Rio, and the new confidence in the success of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Today, Brazil has a highly positive image due to the FIFA World Cup and I’m certain that our Games will be no different.”
The three existing venues – the National Shooting Centre, National Equestrian Centre and Modern Pentathlon Aquatics Centre – will be renovated, while four new permanent venues – the Deodoro Arena, Olympic Hockey Centre, Olympic BMX Centre and Olympic Whitewater Stadium – will form part of the sporting legacy that the Games will leave for the city. Two other temporary structures will also be created – the Rugby and Modern Pentathlon Arena, and the Olympic Mountain Bike Park.
Rio can certainly take hope from the London 2012 Whitewater Stadium. The exceptional venue has provided a tangible legacy for the sport and acts as the base for the Great British performance squad, continues to host national and international competitions, as well as being the venue for the 2015 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships and Olympic Qualifier.
The Rio Organising Committee stated that the first construction phase will focus on common and circulation areas in the X-Park and support buildings, with infrastructure works and ground clearing.
Following this, work will start on the Deodoro Arena and the renovation of the National Shooting Centre.
With work well underway on the main Olympic Park, in Barra da Tijuca, preparations for the Games are gaining momentum with just over two years to go until the opening ceremony on 5 August 2016.