Athletes Call on the International Canoe Federation to Revoke a Decision to Exclude Two Canoe Sprint Events from the Paris 2024 Olympics
The International Canoe Federation (ICF) recently eliminated two Olympic Canoe Sprint events in favour of two Extreme Slalom events at the Paris 2024 Olympics. Athletes are calling on the ICF to take immediate action to either revoke the decision or immediately negotiate with the IOC to add two additional medal events to Paris 2024 Olympic Program.
The sprint paddlers have been very vocal that no changes should occur until a thorough review is carried out. Once again the athletes’ voices have been ignored and caste aside.
The ICF unilateral decision to change the Olympic format in the middle of the Paris Olympic cycle will have a severe impact on paddling athletes. Many athletes, coaches and teams are already preparing for Paris 2024 and now, without notice, will be told that their events will no longer take place.
The fact that the ICF passed a rule without broad athlete and national federation consultation is a sign once again that athletes have little to no say on what is best for their sport. ICF speaks of an athlete first approach but very rarely puts this into practice.
As athletes we are always in favor of improving our sports, but any improvement must be based on long-term vision for the sport and athlete wellbeing. All decisions must be transparent and managed under the ICF governance structures.
The athletes’ call for immediate action from the ICF is supported by a petition signed by over 7000 Olympians, Olympic medalists, and athlete supporters. (link to petition)
In addition to letters sent directly to the ICF, we have also sent a letter undersigned by more than 55 OLYMPIC Champions and Medalists from our sport to the IOC Athlete Commission requesting their support. (link to letter)
As athletes we stand as a collective for the future of athlete representation within the sport of Canoe & Kayak.
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