Archery listed among Olympic core sports
February 13: Lausanne, Switzerland.
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 IOC's Olympic Programme Commission systematically reviews every sport after each 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, which is 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. (If you are using Internet Explorer or Firefox as your browser, hover your cursor over each image to read the photo captions)
The Executive Board recommended that wrestling not be included in the list of core sports. Wrestling will join the seven short-listed 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, Argentina in September 2013.
"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, Professor 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 as 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 continue to strive in the future to make our sport an important one at the 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 recognised 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 the marketing strategy was accompanied by a dramatic improvement in the level of performance worldwide. Performances of athletes 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 developmental projects and the continent achieving a gold medal at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, the very first medal for Africa on the international scene.
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 the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2016 Olympic Games, where archery will continue its tradition of being showcased at an iconic venue, the Sambodromo, the home of Samba, a 700 metre stretch on Marquês de Sapucaí Street, a purpose-built parade area in downtown Rio, linked to the Brazilian tradition of Carnival. Bleachers have been built on either side to accommodate 90,000 spectators.
"The challenge is to assist our Member Associations to cope with the substantially 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 manufacturers, 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.