January 27th, 1999
To EAME Congress
From Andres Botero, IWSF President
As we enter the final year before the second Millenium, our sport of Waterskiing looks into the future with both great expectation and also a deep desire to become a fully fledged member of the IOC.
Over 50 years of hard work, both by our past and current IWSF officials,may well come to a successful and long awaited conclusion next June in Seoul, Korea. This is where the 1999 IOC Session is expected to approve new Olympic sports for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
Water Skiing has come a long way. For the first time in history, we are on the approved list of an Olympic city. It is now up to the IOC to decide if our sport fulfills the requirements to join the other 28 Olympic sports. Our future today looks brighter in spite of the fact that some clouds on the IOC horizon may damage or delay the important decision for which we have waited so long.
I encourage you all to continue supporting our essential fund raising campaign to finance our efforts throughout the world, to fully support our dedicated work and to have patience regarding the final IOC decision.
Finally, I want to thank our friends in Europe who have contributed so much to keep our flame alive. I also want to thank my Secretary General, Graziano Tognala, and Depy Papadimitriou, President of the Hellenic Water Ski Federation, who have worked 24 hours a day since the Seville demonstration in promoting our sport to the interested parties in Greece and Europe.
To Kuno Ritschard, I give my sincere thanks for his support and understanding in the most critical moments of our journey towards the Olympics and for giving us much valued advice and direction.
When you have a goal in life and your heading is fixed in that direction, you will reach it in the end. I have total confidence that our 50 year old goal will be achieved in 1999.
I wish you all a successful meeting and a happy stay in Jordan. My best wishes to His Majesty, King Hussein, represented by His Royal Highness, Prince Raad Bein Zied for the patronage of the EAME Congress in Aqaba.