Kitesurfing at the Olympics will boost kitesurfing's profile worldwide and could see the sport become more "mainstream".
However, windsurfing has been dropped, apparently in favour of kitesurfing. I don't agree with this. Windsurfing has a long heritage and is a well established water sport. I think it should have been retained in the Olympics.
In addition, the vast majority of kitesurfing worldwide is either freestyle/freeride/wakestyle on twin tip boards or wave riding on surfboards. The Olympic event will be course racing on race boards - a discipline that relatively few kitesurfers currently do - even at competitions.
It will be interesting to see how this goes. A sudden surge in popularity for kitesurfing could put a lot of pressure on locations that are already becoming crowded, and beginners who don't take lessons will put themselves and others at serious risk.
I hope that the Olympic kitesurfing events go well and that this contributes to kitesurfing's acceptance as the safe and fun sport that it is.
I offer my commiserations to windsurfers, including some buddies.
- Kiteboarding Becomes an Olympic Sport, inMotion Kitesurfing
- Kiteboarding to replace windsurfing at 2016 Rio Olympics, BBC Sport