IOC urged to back synchronised skating in Winter Olympics
The head of the world governing body for skating Thursday called on Olympic chiefs to "decide positively" ahead of an announcement on whether synchronised skating could become a fixture at the Winter Games.
Shanghai: The head of the world governing body for skating Thursday called on Olympic chiefs to "decide positively" ahead of an announcement on whether synchronised skating could become a fixture at the Winter Games.
The introduction of the sport would be in the "interests" of the public, Ottavio Cinquanta, the head of the International Skating Union (ISU) said, after his organisation formally approached Olympic bosses last year about the proposals.
Synchronised skating, a team sport in which 20 athletes perform a programme together, could be on the Olympic schedule for the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) backs the plans.
"In June they will decide whether to include synchronised skating or not," Cinquanta said, at a news conference on the sidelines of the world figure skating championships in Shanghai, which entered its second day Thursday.
"We hope they will decide positively because we want to develop a new sport in the interests of the public, spectators, the media and so on."
Synchronised skating is "characterised by teamwork, speed, intricate formations and challenging step sequences", according to the website of US Figure Skating, the governing body for the sport in the United States.
It is mainly popular in the US, Canada and Scandinavia.
Questions have been raised over the costs involved with a sport which is expected to involve scores of athletes at a time when the IOC is attempting to keep costs down.
But Cinquanta played down fears, saying the ISU was open-minded on how the sport would be implemented at an Olympics.
"If the IOC says it is too expensive, then this will be taken away by us, and we will see what is possible to be done by us in order to obtain this addition," he said.
The ISU had previously campaigned for the team figure skating event to be added to the Olympic programme, ahead of its introduction at the Sochi Games in Russia last year.