Once in your section, you could sit any where you wanted. We found some seats higher up with a good view. Our section was close to the middle and we could see the start and finish lines.
A few minutes later, the forerunner started off. The forerunner is supposed to test out the course to make sure it's OK during the event.
The canoe slalom semifinal race was first. The canoes looked like kayaks. That was when I learned to appreciate how hard the actual thing is. It was captivating and it was like a controlled adrenaline rush seeing these guys paddle upstream, zipping past gates with some flipping over, just to come back up and beat the current best time. There were two different types of gates--red ones and green ones. Red ones meant that you had to turn in the current and go upstream through the gate. Green ones meant you just had to go through them. If you missed a gate, you were fined a 50 second penalty. If you touched a part of a gate or touched the side of the course, then you were fined a two second penalty.
After the all the canoes had gone, there was a little break before they started the kayak slalom semifinals. They run on the same course. The kayaks generally went a couple of seconds faster because they have double bladed paddles and they actually sit in the kayak (you kneel in the canoe). One German got stuck in a red gate and had to push off the side of the wall, and he got a two second penalty.
Then the top eight in the canoe slalom ran the final race and the top ten in the kayak slalom ran their finals race. They add your time from your semifinal race and final race and the one with the shortest time wins. Alexander Grimm, a German athelete, won the kayaking slalom gold medal and the German guys behind us were cheering like crazy. I found out later it was Germany's first gold medal. Benjamin Boukpeti from Togo (who was first after the semifinals) was third. He was so excited, he broke his paddle in two when he finished the course! He won the first Olympic medal for Togo ever. We left before they gave out the medals and because it was getting late. But there were still lots of people leaving and we had to squeeze onto the bus to get back to the parking area where we found our car and went home. It was an exciting day!
Next up, more rain delays a tennis match--Roger Federer vs. James Blake.