Following much debate and attempts to predict how the IOC would announce their decision regarding new sports for the 2020 Olympic Games, the decision still came as a surprise to many. The Wakeboard 2020 Vision Team successfully completed their presentation to the full IOC Executive Board, together with Baseball/Softball, Karate, Roller Sports, Sport Climbing, Wushu and Wrestling.
First, it was declared that three sports would now go forward for the final selection of one sport in September.
In the three rounds and nine confidential electronic voting sessions involved, the sports which received the top votes were the traditional ones with substantial global coverage. Controversially, wrestling succeeded on the very first vote. This worked against the new youth centered sports – wakeboard, roller sports and sport climbing.
Being eliminated was an enormous disappointment to the IWWF team after all their personal commitment and dedication. In later conversations with the other eliminated sports, they were equally disappointed. The one item which appears to have been a stumbling block to all the newer sports was their relatively lower level of global participation. Those joining wrestling in the September vote will be baseball/softball and squash. A full IOC report will be sent to us later for examination.
It would appear that youth focus for the IOC Executive Board members is not as vital as the level of global coverage at this time.
Kuno Ritschard, IWWF President stated, "In spite of the great disappointment, to have been selected as a short listed sport has given us an enormous amount of valuable experience and a unique possibility to promote both Wakeboard and Cableways within the Olympic movement."