Kiteboarding ♥ Río 2016

GREAT NEWS: Kiteboarding will be an Olympic discipline in Rio 2016 (Brazil).

The decision was taken by the International Sailing Federation itself (ISAF) last May 5. In order to include Kitesurfing in the Games another Olympic sport was replaced, Windsurfing on both male and female categories. Windsurfing became an Olympic discipline in 1981 and competed for the first time in Los Angels in 1984.

A windsurf race in Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.

Sports newspapers around the world have echoed the news. From England, Spain, Argentina or Mexico, to name some countries, speak with surprise about windsurfing replacement.

El Mundo Deportivo (Spain): “The new classes represent a revolution in the sailing concept. On one side the entrance of the kite, a discipline with thousands of fans. On the other side it breaks with the classical concept of what had been until now the Olympic sailing, and also by the fact that windsurfing disappear as such.” (Full story)

The digital version of Los Andes (Argentina): “kitesurfing won the pulse against windsurfing .” It also collected first impressions of the president of the Argentina Windsurfing Association (Gustavo Almenara), who described the fact windsurfing would not longer be an Olympic sport as a collateral damage and said the sport would continue its normal course in other categories and competitions. (Full story)

BBC Sports were surprised that ISAF had not waited for the games of 2020 as initially thought, making kiteboarding debut in Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Such news were received with surprise and frustration by British windsurfing, who had already sent a request to continue being an Olympic discipline. (Full story)

For windsurfers can be a reason to “hate” kiteboarding a little… However, I think any athlete in general and in particular windsurfers can understand the rise and growth of  a new sport, especially Kitesurfing in the last ten years.

I think Kitesurf, a sport started in the 80’s, which improvement in safety and technical conditions has been amazing the last years becoming a more popular sport, has been positioned on the Olympic scene by his own right. On one side, because of the growing number of followers worldwide which are increasing exponentially year after year, and on the other side because it must be remembered that today the world record speed with a sail is hold by kitesurfer Rob Douglas with 55.65 knots who beat the record held by the Hydroptere (French trimaran) at 51.36 knots. A spectacular vessel built by the best nautical engineers.

So if a kite can beat the Hydroptere … it can beat anything!

I think the decision of the ISAF to replace Windsurfing with Kitesurfing in the 2016 Olympic Games is unfair and unnecessary, because Windsurfing is a legendary sport followed by many people, which have been preparing to compete in those disciplines for years. Can you imagine that your dream is to compete in the Olympic Games and overnight stops being an Olympic discipline … that is bullshit!!

I wonder why they don’t add a new Olympic discipline rather than subtract another one?.

Besides, if we are already considered a little bit as the “black sheep” of sailing sports … Now being identified as responsible for the disappearance of windsurfing in the Olympic Games … imagine what they will think of us. The controversy is served…

See you in Rio 2016 !