OLYMPIC BANDY? – The decision is approaching!
The coming bandy season will be important in several different ways. In just over a week, the Federation of International Bandy, FIB, will participate in the important convention “World Winter Expo” in Beijing, China, starting September 7. A unique and important opportunity for bandy to showcase in a really big arena when many winter sports, sponsors, Olympic organizations and decision makers gather to discuss many future issues for winter sports.
For bandy, the issue of participation in the Olympics is perhaps the biggest and most important for many years. The strong work effort of getting involved in the ounce of the Olympic family therefore goes into a very important stage. Bandy has for many years campaigned to become an Olympic sport and FIB enter the final phase with a strong candidacy for becoming additional sport in Beijing 2022. The race for Beijing 2022 has started. The additional sports procedure is not yet mentioned, and may, according to the Olympic Charter, be decided as late as 2019.
The aim is to be attended as additional sport at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 and the final goal is, of course, participation as a full-fledged sport at the 2026 Olympic Games. An important step along the way is to showcase our sport at the China World Winter Expo from September 7th to September 10th. Not least China, as the organizing country, has the opportunity to influence the choice of additional sports for their own games 2022. Therefore, FIB has considered it is very important to attend the Beijing Convention.
Much work has been done to deliver facts to the Olympic Movement, but also to post a serious and competent campaign from the Federation of International Bandy. There are many facts that strengthen the bandy commitment to becoming an Olympic sport. Bandy has a strong position as a gender equality sport, and also in a very good way it responds to the ideals that apply to the Olympic movement. Bandy is a major candidate if any other winter sports should be removed from the program or if the number of branches in any sport is reduced. Bandy is the second largest ball winter sport and reaches great popularity among young people, not least outside the big cities. If the IOC receives bandy as Olympic sport, the Winter Olympics also receive a big field ball-game, something that is only available in the Olympic football in the summer time.
The Federation of International Bandy is represented at the Convention in China by FIB's President Boris Skrynnik, General Secretary Bo Nyman and Knut Sörensen, FIB Olympic Committee.
FIB will show the sport of bandy at a stand in the convention hall and the representatives will meet many important delegates representing China Olympic Committee and representatives from other countries and winter sports.
FIB's representatives will also meet the World Championship organizers of two of the 2018 tournaments. The Women World Championship is settled in Chengde, China January 11-14 and the Group B World Championship for men is arranged in Harbin, China January 28-February 4. On September 4 and September 5 the FIB representatives will finalize the Women World Championship site details with China Hosting Government. On September 10 Mr Skrynnik, Mr Nyman and Mr Sörensen will make a trip to the Chinese city of Harbin for a meeting with Governor and officials who will support the Group B World Championship this winter.