Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kitesurfing replaced by windsurfing at 2016 Rio Olympics

The International Sailing Kitesurfing announced in May 2012 that Kiteboarding would replace Windsurfing at the 2016 Rio Olympics. At the time, I commented that this decision was unfair to Windsurfing, which had been in the Olympics since 1984 for men and 1992 for women.

Now, ISAF has reversed that decision and dropped Kitesurfing to reinstate Windsurfing!

It is not clear to me why have flip-flopped on this, nor is it clear why both sports cannot be included, which would surely be the best option.

Kitesurfing could be "demonstration sport" at Rio in addition to the well established Windsurfing events.

It would seem that there is lots of "politics" about how international organisations such as the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and International Windsurfing Association (IWA) are going about their business.

I was not intending to compete, but I pity those who have already started training up for the possibility, and buying kiteboarding race gear.

I love kitesurfing for its action, challenge, adrenalin and sometimes the solitude.  Sporting governing bodies should be careful they don't intrude on this.



Anonymous said...

I think you will find that there cannot be additional events at the olympics because the IOC would not give more medals to sailing. Thus, it was a win or lose situation. The olympics being aruguably the most prestigious event in sailing would be undersold in having a 'demonstration sport' as well.

Peter Campbell said...

Yes, that is quite possibly the case. I don't have a problem with them retaining windsurfing or even dropping kitesurfing (course racing discipline). But flip-flopping the "decision" is just poor form.