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<Air Sports in the Olympics> News Archive

Sport Parachuting and the Olympic Programme
03/09/2002 | Posted by JeanMarc at 10:04 AM

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During its meeting held on 29 August 2002, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board discussed the Olympic programme for the future Games of the Olympiad, specifically the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in 2008 in Beijing. Following the recommendations of the Olympic Programme Commission, the IOC Executive Board decided not to admit parachuting to the Programme of Beijing 2008. While very disappointed, the FAI thanks the IOC for its clear statements of the arguments leading to this decision, which will be helpful for the further development of parachuting and indeed all Air Sports.

Clear recommendations of the Olympic Programme Commission
Only golf and rugby were recommended for admission to the Olympic programme. The Commission recommended rejecting the applications of 14 other candidate sports, amongst them parachuting, to enter the Programme of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing, 2008. The Olympic Programme Commission pointed out that any changes in the structure of the Olympic Programme should result in increased value and appeal of the Olympic Games, that global public and media interest should be considered as key elements in the analyses of sports, and that sports should give special emphasis to youth and development. Taking into consideration statistics on federation affiliation, number of nations competing in major events, and broadcast and press coverage, the Commission estimated that most sports bidding to enter the Games would not bring a higher level of global participation and interest than sports currently on the Programme. However, by interpreting Rule 52, Paragraph 4.2 of the Olympic Charter (‘…events in which performance depends essentially on mechanical propulsion are not acceptable’) as not applying when mechanical propulsion is used purely as technical support for the competition in areas unrelated to the sporting performance itself, the IOC left the door open for future bids by air sports such as parachuting.

Future of Air Sports in the International Arena
Although the third attempt by Sport Parachuting to become an Olympic sport has proved unsuccessful, FAI will continue to seek to develop Air Sports worldwide, aiming to render them more popular and attractive to the media. Among other projects, FAI is currently working on the 7th World Games 2005 Duisburg, the 3rd FAI World Air Games planned to be held in 2005, and FAI’s 100th Anniversary in 2005. After a thorough review, FAI - an IOC Recognised Federation - will consider whether to submit further bids for parachuting, gliding, hang-gliding and paragliding to be included in future Olympic Games.

Sport Parachuting at the 7th World Games 2005 Duisburg
As a proof of the major role played by air sports in the international arena, the IWGA (International World Games Association) Executive Committee recently confirmed that parachuting would be one of the main attractions of the 7th World Games to be held from 14 to 24 July 2005 in Duisburg (GER). For its third participation in the World Games, the parachuting programme will consist of at least four disciplines : Men’s and Women’s Freestyle Skydiving, Mixed Accuracy Landing and Mixed Formation Skydiving. The inclusion of a fifth discipline – Canopy Piloting – has been accepted in principle by the IWGA – Executive Committee, subject to approval by the FAI Parachuting Commission in February 2003.

Lausanne, 3 September 2002

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Parachuting in the 2008 Olympics ?
23/04/2002 | Posted by Thierry at 10:04 AM

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A delegation from FAI, the World Air Sports Federation, led by FAI President, Mr. Wolfgang Weinreich, was received in Beijing on 17th April 2002 by Mr. Duan Shijie, Vice President of the Organising Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and Vice President of the Chinese Olympic Committee.

The FAI delegation is welcomed in Beijing by Mrs Hua Shaolin (ASFC Sec. Gen.) and Mr Zhao Mingyu

The FAI delegation had been invited to China to present the case for the inclusion of parachuting and skydiving events on the 2008 Olympic programme in conjunction with the Aero Sports Federation of China (ASFC), whose President, Mr Wang Baoliang, is also a Vice President of the Chinese Olympic Committee. The delegation was hosted throughout their visit by ASFC Vice President Mr Zhao Mingyu.

W. Weinreich, FAI President, talking with Mr Duan Shijie and Mr Zhao MingyuThe FAI delegation’s other members were the President of the International Parachuting Commission, Mr B.J. Worth (USA), a former three-times World Champion and parachuting TV and film director, and Mr Max Bishop, the Secretary General of FAI, the Lausanne-based World Air Sports Federation. During an hour-long meeting, they presented the sport of parachuting to Mr. Duan Shijie, using spectacular video images of the highly successful 2001 Akita World Games skydiving event.

Dinner given in honour of FAI Delegation by Mr Wang BaoliangThe “China Sports Daily” of April 18th reported that Mr Duan Shijie “highly appreciated all FAI’s efforts” and that he “had a favourable understanding for FAI’s promoting parachuting in the Olympic Games.” According to the newspaper, Mr Duan Shijie said that “…since entering FAI in 1978, China has achieved 22 world champions in air sports. Air sports have a special value to society, human development and human quality, and that’s why Chinese people are enthusiastic about air sports.”

IOC and FAI Presidents meet in Lausanne

On returning from China, FAI President Wolfgang Weinreich went immediately to the Olympic Capital, Lausanne, for a meeting on April 19th with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Dr. Jacques Rogge. Pointing out that the Olympic Games programme contained sports on water, and sports on land, but no sports in the air, Mr. Weinreich urged that the IOC should make the 2008 Olympics in Beijing the first aerial Olympics : “The Olympic motto ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’ (‘Swifter, Higher, Stronger’) is a very noble one” said Mr. Weinreich, “but until at least one air sport is included in the Games, ‘Altius’ remains a dream.”

Also present at the Lausanne meeting, IOC Sports Director Gilbert Felli confirmed that parachuting was amongst the recognised sports being evaluated by the IOC Programme Commission for possible inclusion in the Games, and that a recommendation concerning the content of the 2008 programme would be made to the IOC Executive Board later this year.

In the meantime, FAI is continuing its efforts to demonstrate to the IOC that parachuting is a highly athletic sport, spectacular both on TV and for spectators, attractive to young people, and not very demanding as regards length of contest, number of competitors and requirements for infrastructure.

Lausanne, April 23rd, 2002

Pictures available : Welcome (144 Ko) / Talks (82 Ko) / Dinner (161 Ko)

Olympic Parachuting Bid Moves Forward
04/02/2002 | Posted by Thierry at 04:25 PM

Gilbert Felli, International Olympic Committee (IOC) Sports Director, and his assistant Kit McConnell both addressed the recent meeting of the International Parachuting Commission held in the Olympic Capital, Lausanne. Praising the contribution of parachuting to the 2001 World Games in Akita, they outlined what the IOC was looking for when selecting new sports for the Olympic programme, and gave details of the key dates. The final decision on the programme for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing will be taken before the end of 2002.

Key FAI and IPC officials will visit Beijing soon for discussions with leading members of the Beijing Olympic Games Organising Committeee. A promotional tape and brochure are in production explaining the attractions of skydiving to the general public.

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