International Kiteboarding Association launches kiteboarding Olympic campaign for the Rio 2016 Games Kiteboarding to be added to the Olympic Sailing Program

BERLIN, August 2: The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) is launching a campaign to gain inclusion of Kiteboard Racing as an event on the Olympic Sailing program for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.

The IKA believes that kiteboarding can make a significant contribution to Olympic sailing and help to promote the sport. Kiteboarding can be found on every beach worldwide and is practiced by hundreds of thousands of people globally.

“Kiteboarding is visually exciting to watch and attractive for young people. It can be done all over the world and brings youth, action, color and popularity back to Olympic Sailing.” states Markus Schwendtner, Executive Secretary of the class. “Kiteboarding fits the spirit of what the Olympics were created to achieve more than any other sailing class. In my opinion Kiteboarding is the future of Olympic Sailing”, he concludes.

The International Olympic Committee stated at the 2009 Olympic Congress in Copenhagen that the Olympic Movement must strive to reach out to youth around the world.

Kiteboarding is universal and has a strong following among women and youth on the highest levels. It is inexpensive to practice and enjoys a strong following as a recreational water sport.

Already the campaign is carrying a lot of momentum. Personalities such as Virgin Group Chairman Sir Richard Branson (GBR), double Olympic Medalist Michael Gebhardt (USA), 9x Kiteboarding World Champion Kristin Boese (GER), Neil Pryde (NZL) and many more are supporting the effort with full force.

“It is important for us to showcase”, Schwendtner adds, “that kiteboarding is a worldwide movement with the support of personalities from in- and outside the sport. Sir Richard Branson is a great example for how to spread the message of kiteboarding through fantastic ventures. Bruno Sroka (FRA) is a world class athlete who has lead our world rankings for more than 18 months in a row, setting the competitive bar in the sport. Germany’s Kristin Boese is a Guinness Book of Records holder and the world’s most successful female kiteboarder who brings kiteboarding to the masses through various media projects. This is what our Olympic Ambassadors are standing for, an integration of sport and society”.

The IKA adheres to the World Anti-Doping Code, the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency, and ISAF regulations on doping-free sport.

According to the IKA, kiteboarding’s media figures are strong with a media report taken in 2008 showing an average of 350 hours of TV coverage, 30 million readers of newspapers and magazines and over 35 million viewers of online media per major event.

Based on the recommendation of the IOC Olympic Program Commission in 2005 the IOC Executive Board made the decision to reduce the number of sailing events at the 2012 Games from 11 to 10. Consequently, Tornado Multihull was eliminated from the 2012 Games’ program for London. Now the addition of kiteboarding could give the ISAF a chance to revive its presence on the Games’ program and to create new interest in sailing.

For more information about the Olympic campaign please see the IKA Olympic micro site:, which contains the full Olympic Campaign paper (pdf), a strategy paper for the Olympic Sailing competition (pdf), a list of all current Olympic Ambassadors, the first episode of the Olympic Campaign video and press pictures.

Click to view olympic campaign (pdf 3.16 mb)