24Feb13 IWWF President Speaks to iSportconnect About Wakeboarding?s 2020 Mission

The President of the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation has spoken exclusively to iSportconnect about wakeboarding?s chances of being added to the Olympic 2020 programme.

Kuno Ritschard said that wakeboarding has a good chance to be selected by the IOC because of their youth-orientated approach.

Speaking exclusively to iSportconnect, Ritschard said: ?The IOC President clearly stated, and it has been repeated by many other IOC members, they want to see a change in the Olympic Programme in adding new sports and disciplines which capture the interest of young people aged between 15-20 years.

?Boardsports around the world have an enormous following. Wakeboarding, like most of the other boardsports is strongly youth driven and seeing the interest which snowboarding created in Vancouver, we believe that Wakeboard would become a similar success with young spectators, TV viewers and users of social media. It could be the uniting sport for all boardsports in the Summer Olympic Games.?

Ritschard also spoke about the shock decision to axe wrestling from the programme, but strongly argued that the sport should not be reinstated.

He commented: ?I hope that all the IOC members remember what the IOC President said at the session in Guatemala before the decision was made to change the format of the Summer Games to 25 core sports: ?We must now adapt to meet the taste of today?s young generation. For our movement, and all that it stands for, to remain relevant into the next decade and beyond, we must find ways to keep the appeal of our event, to engender the interest of young people in the thrill of sport.?

?At this stage, with the IOC President?s clear directive in mind, if the IOC session in Buenos Aires really wants to achieve the objective of the session in Guatemala, then they have to vote for a new sport and not put Wrestling back in the Games.?

Ritschard was speaking to iSportconnect reporter Steve Moorhouse about the strategies the IWWF are using to install wakeboarding in to the 2020 Olympic Games, sponsorship strategies, engaging with youth spectators, the closure of Princes Club in London and more.

You can read the full Featured Profile interview here >>

Editor's Notes

Kuno has been a member of the World Executive Board since 1992 and was elected President of the International Water Ski Federation in September 2001.

He was re-elected for another four your period first at the 2005 World Congress in Tianjin/China and then again at the 2009 Congress in Calgary/Canada and the 2011 Congress in Dubna/Russia.

Following Kuno?s active involvement in Waterskiing, both as a competitor and coach, he worked from 1982 to 2002 as Technical Director for the Swiss Squash Federation and the Swiss Water Ski Federation.

Kuno has also been involved as an International judge since 1972. In 1984 he became a member of the Administrative Committee of the Europe, Africa & Middle East Confederation and was elected in 1992, first as Secretary General and from 1997 as President.