Finnish sailor asks IOC President about changing sailing events in 2024

Paris 2024: a Finnish sailor asks the IOC President about the changes to the 2024 sailing event

by Richard Gladwell / Sail-World NZ May 28 07:14 PDT
May 29, 2021

Facundo Olezza (ARG) asks IOC President Thomas Bach why men of above average weight should be excluded from the Olympic Sailing Games © IOC

Top Finnish sailor Facundo Olezza seized the opportunity during an informal ‘ask me anything’ question-and-answer session at the 10th International Athletes Forum, to question International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach on the exclusion of the Finn and all male sailors over 85 kg from the 2024 Olympic Games.

Olezza represented Argentina at the Rio Olympics, finishing 9th in the fleet of 23 boats and winning two races. He is due to compete in the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, but after that there are no more Olympic opportunities for people of his height – 100 kg and over (in fact, the most competitive weight is around 85 kg – based on data collected in Rio).

He asked if it was fair that five of the ten events for 2024 were changed and why male athletes of 85 kg and over should be excluded from the 2024 Olympic list. He claimed that World Sailing had “failed to respect its own Olympic policy “.

“I am a sailor weighing 100 kg, without your help I will be excluded and discriminated against from the Olympic family after Tokyo. I am not speaking only for myself but for hundreds of sailors around the world, who will not have the opportunity. to be part of the Olympic family. ”

The IOC President did not respond directly to him initially, but towards the end of a rather lengthy response, he was certainly aware of the issues surrounding the mixed offshore keelboat.

Bach told Olezza: “Let’s see what will happen now. Our Program Commission will have this discussion in a few weeks. Based on their recommendations, the IOC Executive Board will then have to make a decision. Sorry, I cannot. promise you more than that., at that time. ”

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