User login

Mr. Neil Pryde Withdraws Olympic Kiteboarding Support

The big debate at the moment is whether kiteboarding or windsurfing should get a spot at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Summer Games. The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) is of course supporting kiteboarding; it is in fact running a campaign to include kiteboarding in the 2016 Olympics. The campaign is supported by Virgin Group Chairman Sir Richard Branson, double Olympic Medalist Michael Gebhardt, kite racing World Champion Steph Bridge, multiple kiteboarding World Champion Kristin Boese, and many more.

The campaign used to be supported by Mr. Neil Pryde as well. But the founder and managing director of one of the biggest companies in the watersports world, has announced that he’s no longer supporting IKA’s campaign. Here’s the statement Mr. Neil Pryde provided:

“I have been acting as an Ambassador for the IKA in order to assist Kitesurfing in its objective to attain Olympic Event status.

I have now withdrawn my endorsement of the IKA Campaign because it is my view that Kitesurfing has not yet developed the rules of competition and disciplines that must be demonstrated to qualify Kitesurfing as an Olympic Event.

As the Managing Director of Neil Pryde Limited, the owner of Cabrinha, a world leader in Kitesurfing I remain a strong supporter of Kitesurfing and I believe that the sport will continue to grow and develop as a lifestyle / adventure sport. Kitesurfing offers tremendous opportunities to combine sport and travel and there is no doubt that it is  an exciting action sport that ultimately could obtain Olympic status.

However it is important to look at Kitesurfing today and understand the limitations of the sport within the requirements of an Olympic Event.

I would support the inclusion of Kitesurfing as a Demonstration Event at the 2016 Olympic Games if this is feasible.”