How to prevent sailing being dropped from the Olympics


ISAF's Olympic Commisssion make their far reaching recommendations
ISAF’s Olympic Commission have completed their comprehensive 64 page report for the Executive Committee making recommendations for what Olympic sailing must do to put its house in order. Alarmingly, they warn, the consequence of not implementing this is not simply losing another sailing ‘event’ for 2016, but the prospect of sailing being dropped from the Olympic Games in its entirety. This is no idle threat. At present there are 28 Olympic disciplines and, according to International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, this is not going to increase. Instead if up-and-coming sports are to be included in the Games it will be at the expense of others. This was seen recently when baseball and softball were dropped from the 2016 Games, in favour of golf and rugby. An Olympic Games without sailing – hard to comprend? For some reason we take it for granted that sailing doesn’t feature in the Commonwealth Games (although this is something ISAF would like to rectify). To determine the sports to be included, the International Olympic Committee have introduced a formula based on 33 criteria and on some tenuous ones such as ‘history’ sailing scores well, but in many it decidedly falls short. As the ISAF Olympic Commission report states: “In 2002 the International Olympic Committee noted that, when compared with other summer Olympic sports, sailing had a high number of athletes and events in comparison to its broadcast revenues and spectator appeal.” But the hard data shows a more ominous picture - the televising of sailing in Beijing in 2008 was the fifth most expensive of all 28 of the Olympic disciplines, but at the same time the TV coverage, according to IOC criteria, proved to be the least popular (ie even lower than fencing and archery) in the last two Olympiads. Sailing also accounted for a

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