Track and Field Supremacy – Lamine Diack Optimistic for “Special Case” Recognition
With the confidant air of a field marshal, Lamine Diack, president of International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), gestured that track and field remains the ace of the Olympic Games — on the day that Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) revealed swimming and gymnastics have been raised to the A Category for distribution of Olympic Games revenue from Rio 2016.
This follows news that London 2012 revenue for IFs soared to $520 million. IAAF received the lion’s share, in excess of $40 million,
ahead of Categories B, C, and D, respectively with $22 million, $16 million and $14 million.
“The reality is that the Games start when we start,” Diack proclaimed in reference to track and field (athletics). ” We make the Games universal, represented within every National Olympic Committee (NOC). This has to be recognized — we will see what we get!”
Diack’s implication is that ASOIF should continue to acknowledge IAAF’s special position and make favorable adjustment to what track and field receives in priority over swimming and gymnastics.
“In London, they built a stadium for the opening and closing ceremony….and athletics!” Diack said. “Why not have had the ceremonies at Wembley ? They built an 80,000 stadium — and 100,000 at Sydney — and we filled it twice a day.”
As well as aquatics and gymnastics being elevated for 2016, there are reassessments for other sports. The groupings now are:
- Category A: athletics, gymnastics and swimming
- Category B: basketball, cycling, football, tennis and volleyball
- Category C: archery, badminton, boxing, judo, rowing , shooting, table tennis and weightlifting (all but rowing elevated)
- Category D: canoeing, equestrianism, fencing, handball, hockey, sailing, taekwondo, triathlon and wrestling (equestrianism, handball and hockey relegated)
- Category E: modern pentathlon, golf and rugby
Incomes of IFs vary considerably between one Games and the next.
Ryan Andrew, executive director of ASOIF, related that during Sydney 2000 the average dependency of IFs on Olympic revenue was 42 percent. By Beijing, this had fallen to 35 percent.
“This, of course, might fall again in 2016 when income will be divided among 28 sports instead of 26,” Andrew said.
London revenue of $475 million had already been distributed prior to Tuesday, the bonus of a further $45 million being revealed — or about another $1.4 million per federation.
It is no surprise that there is such a clamor to achieve inclusion on the Program.
This article by David Miller first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl Heinz-Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Mr. Heinz-Huba.