Dragon boat racing is an ancient sport with its roots in folk rituals and the original Olympic Games in ancient Greece. It is a human-powered vessel native to the Pearl River Delta region in Guangdong province, southern China, and has been adapted to many parts of the world, including Orlando, Florida. In Orlando, dragon boat races are held on Lake Dexter and are organized to raise funds for wounded warriors. Teams of 12 compete against each other and the clock on a 250-meter route.
The races are followed by a picnic and local food vendors. At the end of the race, awards are given out to the three best teams. The awards given out at the conclusion of a dragon boat race in Orlando, Florida, include participation medals and paddle prizes. All teams that compete in the race receive participation medals as a token of their effort.
Paddle prizes are awarded to the three best teams, usually signed by the team members and kept as a memento of their victory. The International Canoeing Federation (ICF) also has a dragon boat program for member canoeing federations interested in dragon boats. This program includes training and practice sessions for teams from all over the world. Experienced rowers from Portland and Salem dragon boat clubs offer their services as callers and cultivators on each boat, providing each team with brief guidance on how not to end up swimming in a dragon boat. Dragon worship is an important part of dragon boat racing culture.
This ritual involves splattering the bulging eyes of the carved dragon's head attached to the ship. The pulsation of the drum beats produced by the drummer can be considered the heartbeat of the dragon ship. Dragon boat racing is an exciting sport that brings people together from all over the world. In Orlando, Florida, awards are given out at the end of each race to recognize teams for their hard work and dedication. Participation medals and paddle prizes are awarded to all teams that compete in the race, with additional prizes going to the three best teams.