The new IOC President Thomas Bach has already planned a review of the current Olympics Programme. While he wants the competitor numbers to remain the same, he is flexible on the overall programme content. A very important report will be made at the IOC session in December of this year.
Since Wrestling was readmitted, we in Wakeboard caught a great deal of attention during our presentations as a future possibility – together with Climbing, Karate, Roller Sports, Wushu and Baseball/Softball.
Radical changes might also be forced on the IOC system in order to get a better balance between the Summer and Winter Games. With 41 Sports, the Summer Games are pushed to the limit while the Winter Games have just 15. The IOC Charter would need changes but suggestions have already been made that Track Cycling, Badminton, Judo and others could be moved to the Winter Games !
Christophe Dubi, see photo, who is familiar with Wakeboard and has met us on numerous occasions, will take over as IOC Executive Director this Summer. He has already stated that the Programme should be reviewed regularly to make sure that it remains relevant.
We have all seen the huge impact made by Snowboard in Sochi. Over 24 million people in the USA alone watched NBC’s prime-time coverage of the Half-Pipe event. This younger audience is exactly what advertisers want. Having already paid $4.38 Billion for the US Media Rights for the 2020 Olympics, holding on to younger viewers becomes even more critical. As we see Wakeboard as a natural cousin of Snowboard and know that the wider Board Sports population naturally gravitate to it, the December Programme report will become of great significance to all in our Sport who know what a great contribution we can make to the Olympic Games.