It’s official: No Keelboat Event at 2016 Olympic Games
Published on February 7th, 2014
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed on Thursday (Feb. 6, 2014) that the Keelboat Event will not be included in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The official confirmation came with the release of the classification criteria for the Olympics, which closes any possibility of inclusion of additional events.
The Keelboat Event, which has been in the Games since the first Olympiad held in Greece in 1896, was eliminated in favor of high performance boats. With the exception of the 1976 Olympics, the Star Class had been used for the Keelboat Event since 1932.
The exclusion of the Keelboat Event was defined by ISAF in 2011. Since then, the presidency of ISAF changed (the new leader is in favor of maintaining the Star), and athletes have made public calls for the reinstatement of the event.
In addition, there was a Brazilian desire for the most successful event in the country to be in the Rio Games, which prompted Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to lead an effort to have the Star included as an additional sailing event at the 2016 Olympics.
In Brazil’s winning tradition in the sport, the country had secured six Olympic medals in the Star keelboat event: two gold, one silver and three bronzes. Most recently, Brazilians Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada were on the podium at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
But the recent decision at the IOC Executive Committee meeting in Sochi was to maintain the 10 events that were confirmed in 2011: RS:X (Men and Women), Laser Men, 470 (Men and Women), 49er Men, Laser Radial Women, 49erFX Women, Finn Men and Nacra 17 Mixed.