Rapids: the Olympic story on the Oklahoma River grows

Published: Wednesday, December 2, 2020 By: Chamber Staff Source: VeloCity

Editor's note: this overview of rafting on the Oklahoma River is part of our multimedia feature "A River's Rise to Olympic Rings". We hope this intro on the Oklahoma River encourages you to check out the "A River's Rise to Olympic Rings" feature story on greateroklahomacity.com and share it with family, friends, neighbors and potential residents/investors.


Well down the list of original MAPS projects had been the unassuming entry titled “River Restoration.” In 1993, most voters are likely to have asked themselves, “What river?” The transformative power of the citizen-drive MAPS projects had long since become legend.

So in December 2009, voters approved MAPS 3. And in contrast to the first MAPS ballot, River Improvements led the list of proposed projects.

The new MAPS river amenities would arrive in two waves. First, the installation of permanent Stadium Lighting – a world’s first for a competition rowing venue.

The second was the showstopper, anticipated since the early stages of the river’s revival: a state-of-the-art Whitewater Center capable of hosting Olympic Team Trials for Kayak Slalom.

The value of lighting had been demonstrated here early, as the sport’s first “night racing” was embraced by athletes and spectators alike, under temporary lights. And in 2014, the first completed MAPS 3 project flooded the river with light.

Read the full story on VeloCityOKC.com

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