SARASOTA -- Thousands of athletes are expected to show up at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota for "dragon boat" racing events early in the next decade.
Stephen Rodriguez, who runs the organization that manages NBP, says the park is hosting the national championships in 2021 and the world club crew championships in 2022.
Rodriguez says both events could draw thousands to Sarasota, particularly the world event, which features seven teams from each nation in each category.
"Last year (2018), when the event was held in Hungary, they had over 6,200 athletes... and that event historically has been trending upwards, " Rodriguez said.
The sport has its roots in China about 2,500 years ago... making it as old as the ancient Olympics. Dragon boats get their name from the dragon head in front.Full-sized boats have a crew of more than 20, and rowers are synchronized with a drummer.
Photo Credit: Nathan Benderson Park/SANCA