GAINESVILLE, Ga. (Oct. 17, 2022) – Keeping true to its 25-plus-year tradition of hosting some of the world’s most talented athletes, Lake Lanier Olympic Park will add another “win” to its resume next year: hosting the 2023 USRowing Southeast Youth Championships.
“Capturing events of this caliber in recent years only speaks to the City’s success in prioritizing watersports that are not only meaningful to the community, but deeply rooted in the history of Lake Lanier Olympic Park,” said Gainesville Mayor Sam Couvillon. “Lake Lanier Olympic Park isn’t just carrying on the tradition of hosting big-name athletes and organizations, but building on previous successes to grow as a well-known and coveted venue in the rowing world.”
Home of the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympic Games, Lake Lanier Olympic Park served as the backdrop to canoe/kayak and rowing competitions – a feat Gainesvillians remain proud of to this day.
“It’s important to City leadership that Lake Lanier Olympic Park is a memorable part of positive experiences had by athletes and their crews during these competitions, which is why investments are being made to position the venue as a world-class facility for years to come,” Couvillon said. “The newly renovated Boathouse at Lake Lanier Olympic Park, upon its completion in spring 2024, will be a solid addition to the park, offering amenities, meeting spaces and team-building opportunities unmatched by any venue around.”
USRowing announced the news publicly Thursday, Oct. 13, in the form of its 2023-24 regatta schedule via its website (usrowing.org).
“On the youth side, USRowing will continue to support our six youth regional events in the Central, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest,” it stated in the press release. "The USRowing Southeast Youth Championships will be held at Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Ga., where we will be bringing the 1996 Olympic venue back into the regatta rotation. Lake Lanier is one of six venues scheduled to host regattas in 2023-24 that are either new or have been absent from our rotation for years. The learnings we gather across a variety of locations will be instrumental to our long-term venue strategy.”
USRowing stated it’s also at the beginning of a multi-year journey to deliver more value in competition to athletes and spectators, and ensure a bright future for the sport.
“The City of Gainesville and Greater Gainesville Sports Alliance are remarkably proud to learn Lake Lanier Olympic Park was named a host venue by USRowing for the 2023 regatta season,” said Gainesville Tourism Director Robyn Lynch. “We estimate the USRowing Southeast Youth Championships will have a $750,000 economic impact to Gainesville, benefitting local businesses and hoteliers, as well as those providing goods and services. What we can’t put a dollar amount on, however, is the opportunity to reconnect with USRowing and help the organization achieve its mission of breathing new life into summer competition. To know USRowing sees Gainesville and Lake Lanier as catalysts for that change, and change for the better, is priceless.”
The USRowing Southeast Youth Championships are slated for May 13-14, 2023.
“In partnership with the City of Gainesville and Lake Lanier Olympic Park, Lake Lanier Rowing Club is grateful to be selected as hosts for the 2023 USRowing Southeast Youth Championships,” said Lake Lanier Rowing Club President Brent Slone. “This regatta is the preeminent youth rowing event in the Southeast U.S. and will bring over 1,300 athletes to the venue. Our club members and local community volunteers will work tirelessly to provide a great experience for the athletes, coaches and their families.”
According to the schedule, Lake Lanier Olympic Park is the only Georgia venue selected to host during the 2023-24 seasons.
“Lake Lanier Olympic Park bringing back an event that hasn’t been hosted in Gainesville for years is evidence of the great work by the Greater Gainesville Sports Alliance combined with efforts by the City’s private rowing club, Lake Lanier Rowing Club,” said Gainesville City Manager Bryan Lackey. “Lake Lanier Rowing Club has 30 years of knowledge and experience on Lanier, and we appreciate the important role they play in keeping Gainesville’s Olympic legacy alive and well.”
To learn more about Lake Lanier Olympic Park and the Greater Gainesville Sports Alliance, visit exploregainesville.org.
Find the full USRowing press release here.