Lausanne – Switzerland, Feb 13, 2013: Archery, The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced yesterday that archery has been introduced to form part of the core sports for the 2020 Olympic Games. However the sport of wrestling faces being removed from the programme. The presentation and visibility of archery has developed dramatically over the last decade, as well as the level of performance worldwide.
The Olympic Programme Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) systematically reviews every sport following each edition of the Olympic Games, in an effort to ensure the Games remains relevant to sports fans of all generations.
The Executive Board yesterday agreed on the 25 sports it will propose to the 125th IOC Session for approval as the core sports for the 2020 Olympic Games.
The 25 sports are: archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, fencing, football, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, taekwondo, table tennis, tennis, shooting, swimming, triathlon, sailing, volleyball, and weightlifting.
Archery, governed by World Archery, has been included to form part of the core Olympic sports, and was not among the five sports (canoeing, hockey, modern pentathlon, taekwondo, wrestling) facing the biggest threat to be dropped from the list.
The Executive Board recommended that wrestling not be included in the list of core sports. Wrestling will join the seven shortlisted sports – baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu – vying for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic programme as an additional sport. The final decision will be taken by the IOC Session in Buenos Aires, September.
“An important decision was taken by the IOC Executive Board concerning the Olympic Programme yesterday, and 25 core sports were fixed for the 2020 Olympic Games”, declared the President of World Archery, Prof. Dr Ugur ERDENER. “Our great sport archery is now one of the important Olympic Sports which was the vision of our World Plan. I believe that this is a result of a successful team, working together in harmony within our great family.”
“However, the elimination of one sport and the four other sports involved in the vote, demonstrates to us that it is important to sustain working hard in the future and to continue to strive to make our sport an important one at national level worldwide. This will be the vision of the next World Archery plan. We will discuss this as well as other matters, related to further enhancing our Olympic position at our next Congress.”
“As President of World Archery, I would like to thank our Executive Board Members, our Secretary General, our Committees, all our Staff, our sponsors for their continuous support and all our Member Associations, Athletes, Coaches and Officials for this fantastic achievement.”
The announcement that archery will be among the core sports echoes a very successful Olympic Games where our sport was showcased at its best. Spectacular competition, held at the iconic venue of Lord’s Cricket Ground, attracted a record TV audience for archery all over the world.
This success is the outcome of the World Archery Plan, a vision to make archery recognized as an important Olympic sport on the international level by 2012. The governing body made important steps forward on the international level by changing its name, its logo and its branding, and by launching the Archery World Cup in 2006.
The success of our marketing strategy was accompanied by a dramatic improvement in the level of performance worldwide. Athlete performances have increased impressively since the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and archery has become more universal than ever.
The sport is progressing in Africa, strongly supported by World Archery, via several development projects, and the continent achieving a gold medal at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, the very first medal for Africa on the international scene.
First Olympic medals for Latin America: Aida ROMAN & Mariana AVITIA (MEX)
Moreover, archery is enjoying unprecedented development in Latin America, a zone which celebrated its first two Olympic medals in its history at London 2012. Latin America is progressing fast towards Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where archery will continue its tradition of being showcased at an iconic venue, the Sambodromo, Home of Samba, linked to the Brazilian tradition of Carnival.
“The challenge for the future is assisting our Member Associations to cope with the substancial increased demand on clubs and national federations”, stated the World Archery Secretary General, Tom DIELEN. “Many of our members have indicated that they have experienced significant growth. At the recent Las Vegas tournament, I had discussions with many manufacturers and they also indicated that their business has grown tremendously showing the success of our sport. Together with the manufactures we are looking to see how we can further enhance the growth of our sport in all regions.”
Finally, in addition to archery’s status as a core Olympic sport, the image of archery around the world has received a massive boost from recent Hollywood movies. As a result, this has attracted the attention and drawn a variety of people to our sport more than ever. —- WA