Dear Mr President

Dear friends

First of all, on behalf of the International Water Ski Federation let me thank you for accepting our request to meet here in Lausanne to explain to you very briefly the aims and goals of our organization and especially our main interest in getting included in the Olympic Program of the year 2004 in Athens.

We all know Mr. President that it is a long and frustrating process. I have gone through it for 7 years and know personally how difficult it is to get included in the Olympic Program.

Nevertheless, your words of advise have always been to have patience, the bus is full but stay in line. Mr. President, since 1948, Water Ski has been touching the doors of the International Olympic Committee. It has been half a century of hard work, dedication and commitment to our cause. We are reaching the end of the century and we are ad-portas of a new millennium. Many of our young generations have lost the opportunity of competing at the Olympic Games. Water Skiing has expanded throughout the world to nearly 90 member federations, practiced by men and women in all five continents, a recreational and competitive sport, family oriented, athletic, very T.V. friendly with lots of action and colour and best of all, a strong supporting industry. In the last six years we have developed new technologies in order to make the sport fairer and easier to run and understand. Automatic Speed Control for the boat and Video Jump Measurement systems have been developed amongst others, bringing our sport up-to-date and at the same level of development of other Olympic sports.

The IWSF has reached today a high degree of maturity and organization and waited patiently in line, sometimes looking with envy how some sports are born and in the process of a few years they become new Olympic events. We have waited and waited patiently for 50 years, waiting an available seat on the bus and I strongly believe that the IOC should recognize the efforts and frustration of all these past years making us next December full members of the Olympic family.

Finally, I would like to say a few words in our common language, Spanish:

Sr. Presidente, quiero en primer lugar agradecerle toda su gentileza y amistad que me ha brindado desde que fui elegido Presidente de la Federacion Internacional de Esqui Nautico y ahora que soy nuevo Presidente del Comite Olimpico Colombiano.

Me dirigo a usted en Espanol porque es el idioma que nos une como hermanos.

He sido un Suramericano luchador por mi deporte y los ideales olimpicos come usted lo ha visto y constatado a traves de estos ultimos siete anos.

Déme usted hoy Senor Presidente la dicha y la felicidad de ser el primer Suramericano en incluir un nuevo deporte en el programa Olimpico. Seria tal vez uno de mis mayores logros en mi carrera deportiva. Cuando me eligieron Presidente de la IWSF en Austria en 1991 asumi el reto con dignidad y se que usted Senor Presidente antes que termine su mandato me ayudara a convertir el ESQUI NAUTICO en deporto Olimpico. Se que usted no me defraudara.

Muchas gracias, y guarde usted todo mi respeto y admiracion.

I want now to introduce to you Helena Kjellander, Slalom World Champion 1997 and Chairman of our Athletes Commission, who will say some words on behalf of all the 30'000'000 recreational and competitive skiers throughout the world.