SEE 2013 May 11 Petition Comments – Almost 600 as of May 11, 2013!
History: The sport of Canoe/Kayak was introduced as a Sprint (flatwater) sport in the Olympics in 1924 – with Kayak and Canoe events for men only. Women’s Sprint Kayak was added in 1948. Slalom (whitewater) was introduced in 1972 as the second discipline and included men’s kayak and canoe and women’s kayak. The Slalom discipline was dropped after the ’72 Olympics then reinstated in 1992.
In the 2012 Olympics, both disciplines were represented with men competing in a total of 6 Kayak events (5 Sprint and 1 Slalom) and 5 Canoe events (3 Sprint and 2 Slalom), and women in 5 Kayak events (4 Sprint and 1 Slalom). There are still no women’s canoe events.
Why the Ban? The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has stated that Women’s Canoe is not developed enough for Olympic competition. However, despite only two women’s canoe events offered at the World level for the last 2 years in each discipline, there are approximately 36 countries total, representing 4 continents, with women Sprint Canoeists competing and developing at various levels. There are approximately 33 countries total, also representing 4 continents, with women Slalom Canoeists competing and developing.
Some ICF members claim that women have only been paddling for only a short time. In fact, paddling canoes has been a mode of transportation, a means of gathering food, and a recreational outlet for women and their families for centuries. Additionally, women have been paddling competition canoes since the early 1900’s. Officials have suggested that Canoe will damage women’s health, since Canoeists only paddle on one side of the body in a kneeling position. There is no medical evidence to support this claim, and the IOC Medical Commission released a statement in April 2011 dispelling this myth.
Potential for Greatness: The quantity and quality of Women Canoeists will continue to improve exponentially as athletes are given access to the same opportunities and environment for success that their male teammates have enjoyed for almost 90 years. The Olympic Games is the grandest stage for the sport of Canoe/Kayak. Women Sprint and Slalom Canoe athletes are ready and eager to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Proposal: Lift the ban on women in Olympic Canoeing by adding five (5) Canoe events for Women to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The ICF must petition the IOC now to add these five women’s canoe events to Rio 2016. We expect the ICF to live by the credo in the Olympic Charter: “The practice of sport is a human right”.
More Information: Contact WomenCAN International at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.WomenCANIntl.com
READY FOR RIO!