Windsurfer Dempsey rocked by Olympic snub
GREAT Britain’s windsurfers, including former Peterborough man Nick Dempsey (left), have been left in shock by the decision to drop the discipline from the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) announced at the weekend that it would be replaced by kiteboarding after this summer’s Games.
The decision has been met by surprise and frustration within the windsurfing fraternity, with an online petition even set up to urge the ISAF to keep it as an Olympic discipline.
The petition has already accrued more than 1,600 signatures and has been backed by reigning Olympic bronze medallist Bryon Shaw, who posted the link on Facebook and Twitter, and said: “Windsurfing is me . . . I am windsurfing!”
Olympic manager Stephen Park described the move as “astounding” via his Twitter account, while Dempsey, who learned to windsurf at Ferry Meadows and who won a bronze medal at the 2004 Games in Athens, took to Facebook after the announcement, saying: “Wow, unexpected. That was a big decision and a very sad day for windsurfing.
“My heart goes out to all the aspiring champions and kids with dreams of windsurfing at the Olympics.”
RETURNING HERO: Craig Mackail-smith was back in action at London Road yesterday. More pictures on Pages 20 and 21.