Olympic Inclusion:

Roller Sports Pledges to Continue Struggle for Olympic Recognition

Federation President Sabatino Aracu Says Singapore Meeting Was Just the Beginning

By Robert "The Eternal Optimist" Burnson

Sabatino Aracu says the recent IOC meeting in Singapore, despite its rejection of roller sports, should be viewed as a "starting point," not an end, to the sport's effort to gain entry into the Olympics.

"We won't give up now that the road to the Olympic dream is clear before us," said Aracu, the president of the International Federation of Roller Sports (FIRS).

Meeting in Singapore two weeks ago, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) cut two sports -- softball and baseball -- from the 2012 Summer Games, but decided against filling the vacancies with any of five candidate sports.

Roller sports was one of the candidates but was rejected early on in the voting.

Nonetheless, Aracu says he is confident that the IOC will consider adding roller sports to the 2016 Summer Games.

To bolster his claim, he cites a letter sent to the five rejected sports by IOC president Jacques Rogge.

In the letter, Rogge says:

"The IOC will work with you in the future in order to ensure that the Olympic Programme remains the most attractive event by offering the opportunity for new sports to be added."

He also notes that the IOC will review its program again in 2009.

Aracu says that the letter indicates that "the match is not over, our sport shall be once again evaluated (by) the IOC."

To prepare for this, roller sports will mount a "massive action," Aracu says.

"We are all aware that lobbies and relationships ... need to be strengthened, sharpened and perfected involving every sports manager at all levels.

"Singapore shall then be seen as a starting point, a moment in the first part of my task from which I'll manage to direct a team whose main task shall be the promotion of the roller sports world."

(posted on July 21, 2005)


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FIRS web site

The Planet Olympic Inclusion Department


Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson

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