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The Way Is The Goal! 12/07/2011

INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE

The President of the World DanceSport Federation reflects on future strategy after DanceSport failed to make the shortlist of candidate sports for the programme of the 2020 Olympics.

Dear Friends of DanceSport!

The decisions taken last week by the leaders and custodians of the Olympic Movement left some in cheers … and others in tears. I am writing these lines after having read an interview with Dr Thomas Bach, the IOC Vice-President from Germany and one of the driving forces behind Munich’s bid for the 2018 Winter Games. These games were awarded to PyeongChang, South Korea, in a clear vote by the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa, on 6 July.

"We came into this competition to win, like athletes enter into a competition to win, and therefore it is a disappointing result," Bach commented the landslide outcome of the vote. "But in sport and as an athlete you learn that defeat is not the end of everything," the former fencing champion then continued in the interview. I, for one, am thoroughly convinced that Munich will submit another bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

DanceSport lost out in Durban too. On 5 July, the IOC Executive Board did not select it on the shortlist of eight candidate sports for the XXXIII Games of the Olympiad in 2020. Obviously, WDSF is disappointed that the out in its current campaign for inclusion in the sports programme came as early as round one. Yes, we would have liked to get the chance to continue until 2013. To make our case even stronger, to prove that DanceSport is perfectly able to add value to the Olympics!  This is what the eight candidate sports now need to do until the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, will decide which new sport, if any, gets admitted to the programme.

WDSF congratulates the International Federations that govern these sports for making the shortlist already. Well done! And WDSF wishes all of them the best of luck for what remains to be done between now and 2013. May the best sport win!

At the same time, WDSF should seize the opportunity and run right along as well. Not for the stakes in 2020 or 2024 – but for its own future. Call it training if you wish, or a workout to keep in shape, but run we should! Complacency does not get us anywhere. Nor does isolation!

DanceSport has come a long way since 2005, when the review process of the Olympic sports programme started to take shape in earnest. WDSF firmly believes that the periodic reviews conducted by the IOC Sports Department are the best way of keeping the Olympics up-to-date, are far superior to the status quo of sports governing bodies lobbying those who take the decisions. These reviews encourage IFs to keep on their toes and continually improve their sports based on analysis and feedback from the experts. Their input allows us and another 20+ sports to make further adjustments, to fine-tune our product as well as the proposal.

“The way is the goal!” must be our guiding principle when it comes to our Olympic ambitions. It has worked well for us so far. What was achieved by IDSF/WDSF over the past five years is the testimony. Would we have been inspired enough to bring about the significant changes we did without an ambitious and elusive goal?

Yes, DanceSport must continue on its Olympic quest, taking it as seriously as ever, because through it come further improvements that will benefit our sport as well as the athletes.

Let us take it all in a sporting spirit! Seven of shortlisted sports feature in The World Games 2013 Cali, COL. DanceSport accepts the challenge to repeat its performance of 2009 Kaohsiung, TPE, where it generated by far more revenues from the gate than any of the seven. Or convince once more in the Asian Games. We shall try! The way is the goal, and the next cycle for the review of the Olympic Programme starts now – for WDSF! 

Carlos Freitag
WDSF President