International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation welcomes Olympic Agenda 2020 with approval of recommendation to add new events to the Games



Nobody present at the International Olympic Committee Monaco Session this week expected such unanimous agreement by so many for change. Over 40,000 submissions were received from the public. The debate on Olympic Agenda 2020 put forward by President Thomas Bach was expected to last two full days. In fact, such was the level of agreement that all 40 recommendations received full approval from the 96 IOC Members present. There were no votes against and no abstentions. President Bach and the IOC are to be fully congratulated on this major achievement. His 18 months of hard work at the helm have certainly paid off and have greatly encouraged the global sports community.

What is at stake is agreement on a strategic roadmap for the future development of the Olympic Movement. Of special interest to the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) was item 10 on the list of 40 Recommendations – «Move from a sport-based programme to an event based one».

Having made a full presentation last year to the IOC Executive Board for the inclusion of Wakeboard in the Games, the IWWF is further encouraged to know that events from new sports can now be added. Already, the IWWF has made a proposal to the Tokyo Organising Committee of the 2020 Olympics for the installation of an environment friendly Wakeboard Cable system on their Olympic Rowing and Canoe site – thus minimizing the costs. This has already been done successfully on the Olympic lakes in Beijing and Barcelona. Floodlit Wakeboard could also take place at night as was done so successfully by its sister sport Snowboard in Sochi. Surprisingly, the cost of such an installation could be as low as US$100,000 and it could easily be moved to another location after the Games if desired. This would therefore remove any legacy issues.

The success of Snowboard in the Winter Olympics highlighted the impact of Board Sports for sponsors, TV coverage and the fans. The addition of Wakeboard to the Summer Games in 2020 would bring a totally new youth driven event to the Games where spectacular floating obstacles enable the male and female Riders to perform breathtaking tricks in an exciting confined area.

Attending the IOC Monaco Session, IWWF President Kuno Ritschard stated – “IOC President Thomas Bach deserves our congratulations and has certainly opened the door for sports which can attract substantial new youth focused audiences to the Olympic Games. We know that the inclusion of Wakeboard would show the world exactly how the IOC is capable of quickly adapting to global trends”.

IWWF Wakeboard World Cup on Beijing’s Shunyi Olympic Lake :

IWWF CONTACT : Des Burke-Kennedy, Media Chairman, International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation