London 2012 slalom canoe: Can you 'Google' your way to the finish line?

London 2012 slalom canoe: Google continues its Olympic-themed doodles during the London Games on Thursday.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
David Florence (f.) and Richard Hounslow of Britain compete in the semifinal of the C-2 men's canoe double slalom at Lee Valley Whitewater Center, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, on Aug. 2, in Waltham Cross near London.
London 2012 slalom canoe: Race against your friends and foes with Google's slalom canon game.

The Olympic sport of slalom canoe is back in the spotlight today, after having its London moment last week. Men's and women's competition in the water sport concluded last Thursday.

First, we'll let the British paper The Telegraph explain how the event works.

It normally involves two timed runs down a course of between 300-500m, along which competitors have to pass through a number of gates. The two main disciplines are kayaking (a long paddle with two blades, held in a horizontal position) and canoeing (a shorter paddle with one blade, held in a vertical position).

A course consists of 25 gates, or pairs of hanging poles. The gates are painted red or green according to whether they have to be negotiated downstream (green) or upstream, against the current (red). There are a minimum of six upstream gates, which are harder to tackle. The last gate is always 25m from the finish.

Slalom canoe is getting a second life Thursday by way of Google. The Internet search engine has provided an interactive 'Google doodle' today for web searchers to try.

If you'd like to take a canoe through an Olympic slalom course, the doodle provides a good opportunity. By using the arrow keys on your keyboard, you can control the speed and direction of your animated watercraft.

As for the actual Olympic slalom canoe competition, there were four sets of medals handed out last week. Tony Estanguet of France won the men's canoe single on July 31.

Italy's Daniele Molmenti took home the gold in men's kayak on Aug. 1.

Britain, the host nation, captured gold and silver in men's canoe double on Aug. 2. Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott finished first, while the team of David Florence and Richard Hounslow were second.

Emilie Fer of France won gold in women's kayak on Aug. 2.

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