Message from the President

To all National Federations
To all Council and Commission Members
To the IWSF Executive Board
Dear friends

On the 28th August the IWSF office in Bologna received a fax from the IOC President stating that "The IOC Programme Commission recommends not to admit Water Ski to the Programme of the Games in 2008 as statistics
reviewed on federation affiliation, nations competing in major events and broadcast and press coverage of major events did not indicate higher level of global participation and interest than sports currently in the Programme, and therefore could not be considered to bring additional value."

Unfortunately this statement is correct and it cannot be contradicted. It harshly shows both the actual situation and the truth and we have probably to come to the conclusion that we concentrated our forces on
the wrong things during the past years.

Jacques Rogge continues: "Of course, we are still at the stage of receiving proposals from the Olympic Programme Commission, and the final decision will be taken by the Executive Board and an Extraordinary IOC
Session in November. Please be assured that I am ready to discuss these with you if you so wish."

Please find enclosed the full report of IOC Programme Commission which was published on Thursday evening. Briefly said, this report says that their proposal is to include Golf and Rugby 7's to the Olympic Games 2008. It appears that Golf and Rugby 7's may be included due to the fact that they have very high TV and Media interest. Even if not recommended by the Commission, the IOC Executive Board decided to re-examine the request to add Wushu, a very popular sport in China, to the Games. The only positive part for Water Ski is that the Commission clears once and for all the situation of sports relying on "Mechanical Propulsion".

At this stage it is clear that the request by both the IWSF and ATHOC to have included Waterskiing in the 2004 Olympics is exactly the same as the apparent wish to include Wushu in the 2008 Games. There are over 400 Waterski sites in Greece and Waterskiing was the ONLY sport selected for inclusion in the Athens Games by ATHOC. I intend to discuss this serious point with the IOC President as we are still convinced that the
30 million Waterski participants around the World deserve representation in the Olympic Games.

We must await the final IOC decision in November but the signs are not encouraging - in spite of the substantial investment made by our friends in China in hosting the very successful World University Championships there last week. I will monitor closely all IOC developments in the meantime and keep you informed. I will also discuss with our Executive Board how best to respond to this development relative to the future objectives of our sport. We must find a way to turn what appears to be an enormous disappointment into an act which will make us both stronger and more focussed in the future.

Kuno Ritschard
President IWSF