Whitewater center attracts brains and brawn | CLT Blog

Whitewater center attracts brains and brawn

Posted on 8 Apr 2009 by Rhi Bowman

photo: Rhi Bowman

Did you hear the good news? The U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) changed their rate structure and added a new attraction, the Mega Zipline. If you didn’t, you can read all about those details over at Creative Loafing.

But, the deals and the attractions are only part of the story. The real scoop is this: not only is the USNWC a great place to hang out, get some exercise and try something new, it attracts major, youthful talent from around the world. Sure, the pull is on alternative and extreme sports enthusiasts and Olympic Kayak teams, but did you know some of those athletes are mathematicians?

Meet Nathan Davis, who relocated to Charlotte from Canada in April 2008 while training at the USNWC for the Bejing Olympics, “Because this was the best place in the world to train.”

He’s in love with Charlotte. He’s also a graduate student at UNC Charlotte trying to decide which university to attend for his Ph.D. “I spend half my time at the University and half my time [at the USNWC] training,” he says.

Of course, Davis is looking at other schools, like M.I.T. and Harvard, but says he is considering UNC Charlotte because of  the USNWC. “Vancouver has mountains, Boston has M.I.T. and Charlotte has this place,” he said.

You can listen to Nathan address the media and goverment officials at a recent USNWC VIP day, in his Kayak skirt, at The Word Trade.


  1. JamesWillamor 8 Apr 2009 at 8:01 PM

    An upcoming event at the USNWC — World Kayak Hometown Throwdown — Saturday, April 11th 2:00pm. Spectators welcome.

  2. Ian at Lake Norman 11 Apr 2009 at 2:22 AM

    The USNWC is a very unique place. I have been there a few times for the Whitewater rafting, but never had a chance to try the rock wall of other features. Once the weather gets a bit warmer I plan on getting back there.

  3. Kelly 13 Apr 2009 at 12:00 AM

    My husband and I used to sneak in before it was officially open (shhh, don’t tell). We’ve been big fans since and take anyone who will go with us. I like the trails and the fact that I can walk several miles while watching the rafters and kayakers. He and his buddies like to raft. My step-father, once a well-known kayaker, who can’t play anymore due to injury, loves to sit on the edge of the water and watch (O.K., and critique). The kids I take are all over the place. There’s so much there for everyone. And, when you’re done playing you can have dinner. I understand the summer band season is about to get started.

    Besides the fact the place isn’t totally free, it’s perfect.

    Go on, you know you want to go. Get outside and play.