Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Lake Casitas, Los Padres National Forest, California
Date Started: August 6, 1984
Date Finished: August 10, 1984
Unlike the 1980 American-led boycott, which had had a limited impact on the canoeing events, the Soviet boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympics severely depleted the field in the sport. This was noticeable in the women’s K-2 500, as nations that had been podium finishers at the last edition and won five of the last nine World Championship medals were absent. The most notable absentee was [Birgit Fischer], who had helped East Germany win all nine gold medals in women’s disciplines at the last three Worlds. This left Sweden’s [Agneta Andersson], the 1981 World runner-up and 1982 and 1983 bronze medalist, as the favorite, even though she had a new partner in [Anna Olsson]. Andersson became an Olympic champion when she defeated West Germany’s [Barbara Schüttpelz] in the K-1 500 the day before this event’s final. Schüttpelz was partnered with [Josefa Idem] in this event, who was making the first of what would be eight appearances at the Olympics, a record number for a woman in any sport.
The opening heats were won by Sweden and the Canadian duo of [Alexandra Barré] and [Sue Holloway], while the West Germans were third in Sweden’s heat, behind Romanians [Nastasia Nichitov-Ionescu] and [Agafia Constantin], one of the 1981 World bronze medalists. Just as in the K-1 500, Sweden won gold with ease, with the closest crew being almost two seconds behind. The race for the remaining podium spots was a three-way battle between Canada, West Germany, and Romania, who crossed the finish line in that order with only 0.43 seconds between them. With Olsson’s help, Andersson would go on to earn a third Olympic medal, silver, in the K-4 500 the following day, while the Canadians would take bronze. Romania, meanwhile, would have its revenge by winning the event.