With 92 Federations around the World, members of the International Waterski Federation from all Continents will watch the Athens Olympics this year with special interest. The IOC decision to limit the number of Athletes is understandable as it is an enormous management challenge. While Waterskiing was selected by the Athens Olympic Committee for inclusion this year, the pressure of numbers made it impossible on this occasion. Four years ago in the Sydney Olympics, Waterskiing lost out to Taekwondo.

Jacques Rogge, IOC President, made it quite clear that media recognition plays a major part in the admission of new sports to the Games. The new Waterski and Wakeboard World Cup was created by the IWSF to address this challenge. The enormous spectator audiences seen at the first two World Cup Stops of 2004 in France and Russia have proved that Waterskiing at the highest level is a very attractive and exciting event for suitable downtown locations. All seven of the 2004 Waterski and Wakeboard World Cup Stops will be televised and full details are being issued to the Media in 192 countries around the World.

In wishing the IOC and ATHOC every success in Athens this month, the International Waterski Federation is also looking towards the summer of 2005 when the 2012 Olympics host country will be decided. At that time, an important report will be published covering both an evaluation of current sports in the Games and new sports which could be included in the future. The final Olympics programme for 2012 will also be decided. As Waterskiing is one of the obvious sports to be included in the Olympics, IWSF expectations are high for the future.

In Australia, Belgium and Greece, Waterskiers this year carried the Olympic Torch as it circumnavigated the World on its way to Athens. We wish all athletes, the IOC and ATHOC every success at the Games and look forward to 2005 when sports of the future Olympics will be in focus once again.

CONTACT : Des Burke-Kennedy, Media Chairman, International Waterski Federation

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