The Olympic Programme Commission is responsible for reviewing and analyzing the programme of sports for the Olympic Games. On Wednesday, December 19th, 2012, seven sports which were earlier shortlisted for possible inclusion in the 2020 Games, were each invited to make a presentation to the IOC Programme Commission in Lausanne Switzerland. This was a major opportunity for all to put their case to the Commission.
Wakeboard, a fast growing exciting youth focused lifestyle sport, was one of these shortlisted disciplines. Driven by an electrically power cable system, the environmental advantages and low entry costs are clear. The International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) assembled a strong and experienced international team to present their case to the members of the IOC Programme Commission. This team comprised Kuno Ritschard SUI, IWWF World President, Gill Hill GBR, Secretary General IWWF, Des Burke-Kennedy IRL, IWWF Chairman Marketing & Media, Varna Laco CRO, Chairman Cable Wakeboard World Council, Argy Daskapalous SIN, Chairman Asia Cable Wakeboard Council and Daniel Fetz AUT, World Athletes Cable Wakeboard Representative.
The IWWF team was allotted time to make a twenty minute presentation to the Commission members, including a live video commentary by the experienced wakeboard rider and Athletes Representative, Daniel Fetz. The actual time recorded was 20 minutes and 20 seconds! If 2020 is to be the year when wakeboard becomes an Olympic sport, perhaps this is a lucky omen! This was followed by a very detailed ten-minute question time which was introduced by the Programme Commission Chairman, Franco Carraro ITA.
Following the presentation, which was well received by the Commission, IWWF President Kuno Ritschard stated "We greatly appreciated this opportunity provided by the IOC and strongly believe that wakeboard would certainly bring a great deal of added value and excitement to the Olympic programme." While the final decision on the selected sport for the 2020 Games will not be announced until September 2013, the IWWF Team is expected to return to Lausanne in May 2013 to meet the Executive Board of the IOC for further discussions.