At a duly convened IOC Executive Board meeting 10 June, IOC (International Olympic Committee) accepted to recommend to submit the application from World Association of Kickboxing Organizations, WAKO to the IOC Session for a vote to become fully recognized International Federation. Since 30 November 2018, WAKO have been provisionally recognized and WAKO have since then worked diligently, strategically and with a targeted development profile to improve the organization and the sport itself always focusing on positive outputs . As a result of the endeavor, IOC approved the recommendation for WAKO to become fully recognized member of the Olympic family of sport. The full recognition will finally to be decided by the IOC Session in Tokyo in July.
WAKO President, Roy Baker; What an historic day for the sport of kickboxing. This is a huge inspiration and acceptance of our sport worldwide. To be fully included and accepted in the Olympic movement is important for the recognition and the possibilities this means locally for our national federations, where the activity and development actually happens. We have used a lot of energy the last years, using the IOC recognition process as a driving force to develop our organization and thereby the sport. We have traveled a long way, but still have areas where we need to continually focus on and improve. As a team we have succeeded and as a team we have worked systematically on good governance, gender equality, transparency, integrity, fair play, health and security and education, constantly focusing on the athlete. We will now grab the opportunity to raise the bar focusing on the next target. In the meantime we will continue to produce quality for and with the members”.
Baker continues; “I want to thank the entire team in WAKO, which means the board and the committees involved and that have been a part of the process. Not to say our National Federations that have evolved very much the last year, you make it happens locally. We have all delivered. It is important for me to see this in a historical perspective and to honor those who indeed did their share in the evolution of the sport as leaders, from George Bruckner to Borislav Pelevic. I need to emphasize especially Honorary President Ennio Falsoni that have been the main creator and constructor of the sport we see today. Thank you Ennio” and lastly my right hand man Espen Lund, who I am privileged to call a true friend and supporter, Thank you Espen on behalf of everybody in kickboxing, together we have moved mountains, gained recognition far beyond expectations, its up to us to take this opportunity with both hands and continue to grow and prosper globally. Last but not least I want to extend gratitude to the IOC Sports Department and the Executive Board for their positive recommendation.
The total WAKO community wish IOC good luck in the last preparations for the Games in Tokyo.”
WAKO, let’s celebrate today and reflect on how far we have actually come in the last ten years, it’s an amazing journey and I am excited to continue it with you our members on behalf of the Athletes who we serve.
10th June 2021 is an historical day for WAKO
Roy Baker, WAKO President