OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City's Boathouse District this weekend will be the center of the Universe for “Paddle Sports.”

For the first time ever, Oklahoma City will host the 2014 International Canoe Federation's Canoe Marathon World Championship. Three hundred and fifty competitors representing 29 countries will participate in several events on the Oklahoma River this weekend.

USA Canoe/Kayak CEO Joe Jacobi won a gold medal in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. He says the Oklahoma City Boathouse District has hit a home run.

“What we really hope people will take out of this is kind of a coming out party for the Oklahoma Boathouse District,” he said.

Three-time Olympian Mike Herbert finished in 5th place during Wednesday's “Masters” competition. He says he's very impressed with the Oklahoma River.

“Ten years ago there was nothing here,” he said. “So they really turned this place into a jewel.”