Dear friends in sport, Back from Beijing, host city of SPORTACCORD 2007, it is now time to draw a few important guidelines for the next months. First of all, after all the meetings and personal discussions with IOC Members and top world sports managers, I am reasonably more confident about the growing attention arising towards rollersports.
The whole world of sports, starting from the IOC Headquarters, cannot deny the continuous match with time and new technologies, and the hints coming from the world of finance and sponsors keep suggesting to open up to new sports closer to the taste of young people.
I have spent the last 20 years of my life, from the very beginning of my career as international roller sports manager, showing everyone the attractiveness and the huge, massive practice of all forms of roller sports all over the world.
The number of people who never skated once in their life is now maybe getting to its historical lowest figure. On the other side, millions of people on skates on the streets, in the parks, on TV commercials, playing hockey in the streets, flipping in the air on their skateboards or choosing all other forms of rollersports for their freetime. We’ve never been so visible before, we can feel it and so does everyone else, even the delegates in the SPORTACCORD meetings and exhibition did…
This acknowledgement can provide a sense of optimism, still there is no other acceptable approach but a professional one, dealing with the IOC and the media networks, otherwise we might risk to waste this precious chance and all the intensive work carried out sofar.
In the Beijing meetings with the IOC President, Dr Jacques Rogge, all the International Sports Federations recognised by the IOC have been informed about the IOC project of launching in the summer of 2010 the YOG (Youth Olympic Games), whose target shall be yougsters aged between 14 and 18; this project shall be put forward for consideration in the IOC Session of Guatemala City (July 2007).
This brand new project is a direct answer to the request of renewal addressed to the IOC and I strongly feel rollersports is in pole position for requirements, potentials and freshness.
As concerns the recognition as Olympic Sport, Dr Kelly Fairweather, IOC Sports Director, presented, during the ARISF meeting in Bejing a description of the forthcoming bureaucratic steps required by the IOC and leading to the decision on the programme of the 2016 Olympic Games (IOC Session Copenhagen – October 2009). In 2008 FIRS shall be required to fill a new questionnaire detailing the numbers and distribution of rollersports in the world and the development of our world championships. The IOC shall examine all questionnaires and shall then determine which sports shall then be admitted to the final poll of the IOC Session for a possible inclusion in the Olympic Programme.
Our major chances are represented by the discipline of speed roller skating, and our next international events shall be followed up and organised in order to maximize the impact on media and public. We are all called to contribute to this success, from the top managers to the single athlete, giving our best and believe in ourselves, which is, in the end, our best quality.