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Paris 2024: Finn sailor quizzes IOC President over 2024 Sailing event changes

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 28 May 07:14 PDT 29 May 2021
Facundo Olezza with IOC President Bach © IOC

Top Finn sailor Facundo Olezza grabbed an 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 over the exclusion of the Finn and all male sailors over 85kgs from the 2024 Olympics.

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

He asked if it was right that five of the ten events in 2024 would be changed, and why 85kg and above male athletes should be left out of the 2024 Olympic slate. He claimed that World Sailing had "failed to respect their own Olympic policy".

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

The IOC President did not answer him directly initially, but towards the end of quite a lengthy reply he certainly knew the issues surrounding the Mixed Offshore Keelboat.

Bach told Olezza "Let us see what will happen now. Our program commission will have this discussion in a couple of weeks. Based in their recommendations, then the IOC Executive Board will have to take a decision. Sorry I cannot promise you more than this, at this moment."

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