As many (including myself) struggle to comprehend the reasoning behind the decision to remove windsurfing as an Olympic discipline. It has been reported that pressure from the International Olympic Committee is the reason for ISAF’s unpopular choice, as they demand that all sports have to be commercially viable.
Former Olympian Neil Pryde recently stated that: 'The main source of revenue for the IOC is from television and as far as sailing is concerned, it scores poorly in TV ratings
'On top of this, the IOC is also against sports which are regarded as elitist. They want sports for the people. Unfortunately sailing is regarded as elitist, the 'yacht class'.'
I remember a chat I had with Mark Turner a few months ago and he brought up the possibility of sailing no longer being at the Games. He stated: “While what happens in the Olympics is very good for sailing, ultimately it doesn’t change, it doesn’t evolve and it doesn’t become more entertaining. The reality is Olympic sailing will bit-by-bit be reduced in its scale and perhaps, at some point, disappear completely.”
Firstly, what do you make of the windsurfing decision? Is kiteboarding really more commercially viable than windsurfing? What’s next for the sport?
Secondly, I don’t want to be pessimistic, but there is the possibility of sailing being next out the door. Thoughts...