Exclusive: Wrestling Should Stay out of Olympics says Wakeboard President

February 19, 2013

By Steve Moorhouse

The President of the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) has said that the IOC should not reinstate Wrestling to the 2020 Olympic Games if they are to keep to previous promises.

Wrestling was controversially axed from the Olympic programme for the 2020 Games and Wakeboarding is one of the sports looking to take its place.

Speaking exclusively to iSportconnect, IWWF President, Kuno Ritschard said: “I hope that all the IOC members remember what the IOC President said at the IOC 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 went on to add that he was “surprised” when wrestling was dropped from the programme but was also concerned that politics is putting pressure on the IOC.

“Frankly speaking, I was surprised when I have heard this decision. Wrestling has a strong, huge community and as expected there are now a lot of complaints,” said Ritschard.

“I also don’t like to see any political leaders starting to put pressure on the IOC. I am most concerned that all this pressure of politics and impact on major NOC’s (National Olympic Committees) and the widely felt sympathies for a traditional and long standing Olympic sport may have a negative influence on the outcome of the vote in September.

“This could make the IOC’s task even more difficult which would be a pity.”

Read the full Featured Profile interview with Kuno Ritschard here >>

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