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Kitefoiling

Legendary Race Coach Savours Prospect of Kiting Gracing Olympics’ Stage

Daecheon Beach, Boryeong — When five-time Olympian Mike Gebhardt asserts that kiting securing a berth at the 2020 Tokyo Games would change everything in the sport, with an explosion of interest and money, it is not to be taken lightly. The renowned racing coach, who helped foiling prodigy Daniela Moroz to her first Formula Kite World Championship title last year at just 15 and Rob Douglas to the 2017 International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) Speed World Championship crown, knows what he is talking about. On the sidelines of the IKA KiteFoil GoldCup series’ opening round in Boryeong’s Daecheon Beach in Korea—where a stubborn absence of wind on day three again allowed no racing—Gebhardt was confident of new and even brighter horizons. Kiteboarding is to be considered as a “showcase” event—short of full medal status—by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the coming months after World Sailing’s (WS) Council put the sport forward for inclusion. If the IOC agrees the WS proposal—kiting operates under the auspices of WS through the IKA—it is likely that some form of “short-track” kitefoil racing for men and women would grace the XXXII summer Olympiad. Gebhardt, who was instrumental in ensuring kiteboarding momentarily won an Olympic medal …

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