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The Sk8ologist
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Olympia and inlines

by Bill Begg

Well the countdown to the October 2009 Scandinavian IOC meeting begins in earnest; it is the most important meeting our sport will ever have. Surely our time has come.

Will we still wallow in mediocrity as a minor sport competing at the World Games, every 4 years, as a token gift, or will we rise to our true status? The answer is within all of us, please act now.

So this is the very first hurdle we need to jump, some well known countries have not allowed or supported their skaters to attend the World Games in the past, we must have full attendance of all of our World stars, as its those sports that have attended World Games, who have gone on to attain Olympic status.

Olympics needs some exciting sports, Walking, Greco Roman wrestling, Modern Pentathlon, are virtually passed by sports, then you have these added swimming Diving Pairs & synchronized events, that have slipped in the past few years, surely we have more to offer.

We are a fast modern and exciting sport, tactically akin to cycling, that can enhance the Olympic program and do it proud, but the issues holding us back are plenty but not insurmountable.

PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE, it’s not child stuff, we are amongst the world’s top sporting fraternity, the changeovers to top cyclists and Olympic Ice champions show we are amongst the World’s best athletes.

TELEVISION, This is a must, some top quality professional films getting out for the viewers to see, this to enable the youth and the couch sports fraternity alike to embrace our sport.

SPONSORS FROM OUTSIDE THE INDUSTRY, Of course with television coverage the sponsors follow, we desperately need the big consortiums, who can back our World Inline cup teams campaigns, to all continents and corners of the earth.

WORLD INLINE CUP, We need a very successful and professionally run WIC, as a showcase of our worldwide exposure, to show everyone, what our sport is about.

COUNTRIES VOTING DELEGATES, Many did not understand our sport, last time it was presented to delegates in Singapore, are you doing your part? By lobbying your National IOC delegate.

ONE OF 5 APPROVED BY IOC, That’s right, last time a vote was taken, we were one of only 5 sports that were approved by the IOC screening committee, as meeting the Olympic criteria, the archaic voting system had many sports delegates not cast a vote, so as the spoils and Television rights, could be divided only 26 ways instead of 28 & that acquaints to millions extra for each sport.

UNDER SPOTLIGHT IN 2009 SEASON, This is the year the time is upon us, we all have to lift our act, from the very top of our organization all the way to the skaters, we must have fast, clean, action packed exciting & positive racing.

■ Our World Champs must run like clockwork, two IOC members were present in Gijon Spain this year, but we needed to perform better and show them better.
■ The World games has to be a big success, we are on show amongst competitors vieing for our right to enter the Olympic programme, right under our noses, so we "HAVE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN".
The agony of defeat in losing out to other sports, we would have to bear forever.
■ The World Inline Cup, up to now the sports show piece, has to go on to be bigger and better, with the proposed Television and live Internet feed comming to fruition in 2009, with the need for more excitement with sprint and Hill primes to enhance the event for spectators and top participants alike.
■ You, YES YOU the skaters and teams must be good ambassadors for the sport and embrace the public and the media, to show that we are a serious brand of top sports people, who race and train hard, who deserve to be seen at the highest level. 2009 is our last full bloodied opportunity.

We must all grab it with all we have and embrace the Olympic goal, as our time is here, to leave a legacy for our future Inline speed skaters who follow, thus making the Olympics more exciting for all viewers.

Bill Begg

Worlds 2008, the balance
Who was who in '08