Kiteboarding might join surfing in Tokyo 2020

May 16, 2016 | Kiteboarding
Kiteboarding: the IOC is pushing the sport into Tokyo 2020 | Photo: Hayto/IKA

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has urged World Sailing to review the events listed for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

In the past, it was defined that all ten sailing events in Rio 2016 would remain the same for Tokyo 2020. But the situation might change in the upcoming months.

Kit McConnell, sports director at the IOC, wants Olympic events that appeal to the youth demographic and encourage gender equity, and kiteboarding is one of the sports that fits the "Vision 2020" strategy.

As a result, the World Sailing Council will be asked to open up the Olympic events set for Japan. If the 75 percent of the votes are not enough to unlock the discussion, the IOC may impose changes themselves.

"It was understood from the discussion that the IOC wishes to see a medal for kiteboarding and not a demonstration event. If that means men, women, both, or some kind of national team competition remains to be seen," the International Kiteboarding Association writes in a statement.

The unexpected move has already triggered actions. World Sailing invited all ten Olympic sailing classes to analyze how to evolve and spice up the traditional windward/leeward courses with slalom, theater style, endurance, and other innovations that can be dynamic, exciting and broadcast-friendly.

The kiteboarding lobby is back with new hopes. The sport might be added as the 11th sailing event, or it can replace one of the ten classes previously confirmed in Japan.

Will kite riders join their fellow surfers in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games? The ultimate decision will be made by the IOC until June 2017. uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more on our About section.