The Potomac Whitewater Racing Center focuses on the daily needs of aspiring and world-class athletes in whitewater competition. Formerly the Bethesda Center of Excellence (BCE), the club changed its name in 2011 to Potomac Whitewater Racing Center (PWRC).
Local athletes first started using the Feeder Canal on the Potomac River for their daily gate training workouts while preparing for the 1972 Olympic Games. Today over fifty athletes of all levels from the Potomac Whitewater Racing Center train on the Feeder Canal and other areas of the Potomac River.
The club has produced numerous Olympians and World Champion medalists:
- Dana Chladek: 1996 Olympic Games (Silver Medal), 1992 Olympic Games (Bronze Medal); Six individual and team medals at World Championships; 1988 Overall World Cup K1W Champion
- Casey Eichfeld: 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Teams
- Kaelin Friedenson: 2021 Extreme K1 Jr. World Champion
- Davey Hearn: Seven medals in C-1 M at World Championships: two golds (1985, 1995) and five silvers (1979, 1981, 1983, 1987, 1989). Davey also won six consecutive world championship gold medals in the C-1 team event (1979-1989)
- Cathy Hearn: Ten medals at World Championships: two golds (K-1: 1979, K-1 team: 1979), three silvers (K-1: 1981, K-1 team: 1989, 1993), and five bronzes (K-1: 1989, 1997, K-1 team: 1977, 1981, 1987)
- Joe Jacobi: 1992 Olympic Games (Gold Medal) & 2004 Olympic Games
- Fabien Lefevre: 2014 C-1M World Champion*
- Ashley Nee: 2016 Olympic Team
- Scott Parsons: 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Teams
- Ricky Powell: 2008 Olympic Team
- Caroline Queen: 2012 Olympic Team
* Fabien also won multiple Olympic, World Championship and World Cup medals competing for France.
PWRC's mission is to promote the sport of slalom and wildwater canoe and kayak racing and includes:
- fostering a lifelong love of paddlesports for our members
- providing world-class instruction and coaching
- hosting slalom canoe/kayak races for participants from novice to expert levels, and ages 7 to 70
- maintaining high-quality, year-round whitewater slalom training sites at the Feeder Canal (and formerly at the Dickerson Whitewater Course).
- maintaining our weight room in the Brookmont Church
- river stewardship clean-ups and community outreach
Mike Corcoran is currently the President and Chair of the Board of Directors of Potomac Whitewater Racing Center, having served in that capacity since 2016.