Wakeboarding Named Trial Sport in 2016 Games

Lausanne, Switzerland – March 31, 2011 – Following years of observation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and months of discussion with the World Wakeboarding Association (WWA), wakeboarding has officially been added as an event to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Spearheaded by a group of IOC members from the United States, Canada, Australia, and host country Brazil, along with several prominent individuals from the international wakeboarding community, wakeboarding is the next sport in a recent wave of “extreme” sports to be featured in the Olympic Games. Wakeboarding will be on a trial basis for the 2016 Games and 2020 Games. After that time wakeboarding will be considered for placement as an official medal sport of the 2024 Games.

With its high-flying stunts and high-energy atmosphere, wakeboarding was deemed a perfect fit for the ever-evolving Olympic Games of the 21st century. Wakeboarding, like water-skiing, is a sport in which an individual athlete is towed behind a motorboat inside a designated course area. The athlete receives two passes inside the course within which he/she will perform as many tricks as possible, using the wake of the motorboat to launch into the air. Judging, which must be objective in the world of Olympic Games, will be based on pre-determined scores assigned to certain groups of tricks. At the end of the event the athlete with the most points will be the Olympic champion. With tricks like “air raleys,” “tootsie rolls,” “backside 720’s,” and “whirlybirds,” wakeboarding is guaranteed to be a fan favorite for the crowds in Rio de Janeiro – a city itself with a rapidly growing wakeboarding fan base.

Each participating country’s Olympic committee and the WWA, which is the official governing body of the sport, and is recognized as such by the IOC, will determine the athletes who will compete. It is likely the standings from the Wakeboard World Series and the King of Wake Series will play a large part in making those determinations.

Officials from the campaigning countries, especially the host country Brazil, are excited to have wakeboarding added as the newest Olympic sport. The death-defying tricks and gut-wrenching crashes are sure to be a big hit for live spectators, as well as the millions viewing on televisions around the world.