Martin Cross calls for Olympic events ‘boldness’


A strong appeal from Martin Cross – respected journalist and Olympian – for FISA to get more radical in its review of the Olympic events. As we wrote last week the LM4- is under threat.

Olympic Rowing Events review

Martin’s views are that we should be “radically changing” the nature of rowing at the Olympics with different kinds of events.  He calls on FISA to “be dramatic” and respond to the IOC demand to make the teams smaller by being creative.

He suggests the week long Olympic regatta could start with small boats in first part then double up into big boats in second part of the week.  Interestingly, he points out that the Youth Olympics do this already so it’s tried and tested.  Part of the advantage is that smaller countries would be able to make bigger boats as well as small boats [this seems to imply crews from several countries].

Radically, he suggests we adopt

  • a mixed men and womens event.
  • host an ergo competition
  • run a head race on a local river
  • run a points competition like Pentathlon

What do you think?
Cycling gives us the clue to the future

I personally look at Track Cycling where there are a mix of race formats for endurance and sprint – all in the indoor arena.  The introduction of events like Madison and Points Race and the Scratch race and the Keirin allow heaps of interest from different perspectives all giving great spectator experiences and tight finishes which the TV loves.


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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Craig Allely

    What a load of rubbish ,as a part of FISA gravy train ie paid commentator Martin Cross ,To hell with the Olympics its bloody corrupt anyway
    The more the merrier at the World Champs reinstitute all the events deleted from Olympics
    The man should be ashamed of himself.
    One of the great things about Rowing is it is a tradition based sport endangered by stupid sports like beach volleyball

  2. Craig Allely

    I better idea for Martin Cross would to support the full World Rowing Program to be included in the Olympics,if you want real Pc gender participation in the sport a olympic Gold medal for a womens light weight single sculler would be perfect,as an example
    Dont listen to me because I am not a Olympic Gold medalist or a FISA commentator and therfore know nothing.
    The old Olympic rowers will turn in their graves. .

  3. Craig Allely

    Lightweight rowers will be out for blood over this one ,this is real discrimination ,
    Lightweight rowing is some of the best match racing at the Olympics ,a good lightweight can come from any country
    Fisa officials should stay in their own enclosure at regattas from now on guarded by swat teams .
    No shoulder rubbing with those awfull lightweights ,how common and vulgar

  4. Craig Allely

    Bring back the coxed pair .Its a slower race ,give a few ;large heavy weights a crack at an Olympic Gold medal .Martin Cross could present the medals .It has a great traditions ,thats one of the great things about Rowing,
    Dont turn it into a bullshit sport like beach volleyball or some stupid TV reality show.
    Its about time FISA did its job instead of worriying about muddy ponds in Africa
    I am all more inclusion in rowing ie more countries the merrier ,But dont turn into a farce
    This is my last post ,no bodys commenting ,so nobody cares ,the silence is deafning.
    I quess I am a crazy overweight ex light sculler from NZ

    1. Rebecca Caroe

      Craig – we read all your comments…. don’t give up. I like hearing different opinions and that’s one of the great things about Rowing – opinions matter. Keep well, Rebecca

  5. Craig Allely

    Thanks Rebecca for the revival ,unfortunately no one comments ,Martin Cross has no comeback.
    Any way to nite we have one of all time farces in the sport ,some excellant Europeans will miss out on the Olympics because of FISA nonsense ,the winner takes all in rowing.and some last minute qualifiers will have a good shot at an Olympic medal
    But never mind the good that will bring I amm for World inclusion but let them drag themselves up to this level .Some countries do it.Argentina NZ and Australia are miles away from a European theatre and have travelled for a long time.
    Unfortunately I can not even watch it live because FISA has sold out to SKY Tv.

  6. Craig Allely

    Here is an idea ,replace the present qualification system for third world countries,with a World Club qualification series ,the Third World Countries can compete of course ,no exclusions or special systems in my plan.
    Great boost for club rowing which struggles these days.,Martin Cross can present the glittering prizes .

  7. Craig Allely

    A great weekends rowing in Lucerne ,some well contested racing particulary Leightweight events Lightweights fueled by their treatened events.lDangerous times for Olympic officials and advocates oif change who ventured near a grumpy lightweight pissed off over possible changes to Olympics.
    The weekends sporting feast under threat .As usual no body says a whisper
    Not much passion out there ,just a lonely antipodian making noises.
    As usual FISA making polictically correct noises from the exclusive enclosures..

  8. c

    The question really must be asked about FISA.what are they up to..They have this PC care policy about clean water .But support Olympic Rowing in what could be described as a sewer..
    Whats going on gentleman ,you have lost the plot.
    Now they want to dismantle rowing structure event wise.and turn it into some beach vo;lley ball ,teen reality TV farce ,so a bunch of bored coach potato uneducated clowns can be entertained .
    You cpuld not get a better event than at Lucerne this weekend a great spectacle in a relitively drug free, corruption free sport leastwise at competive level.;
    Any way next year I might go to Lucerne and debate this with Martin Cross at the Pickwick Pub ,yes I know were it is been there done that.

  9. Craig Allely

    The FISA farce continues, A number of statements have been made recently about the future of rowing ,and how it has to reinvent itself in view of continued participation in the the Olympics ,
    In reality we have the Olympic Movement which is corrupt now corrupting FISA its a bit like a computer virus insidious and sometimes unstppable .
    What is happening here is Rowing as we know it Internationally and as a flow on .to club rowing is the dismantling of the structure internationaly as we know it.this weekend in Lucerne ,there were no entries in the Lightweight mens eight the most recent casualty in International Rowing .The Coxed Four is gone ,next will be coxed pair and the Lightweight events.
    The Olympic movement will sell out rowing to the highest bidder and we have already seen this with an Olympic course polluted and close to the ocean with a possibly unfare course.So here we are with comprimises being made to destroy athletes dreams.
    The problem for the sport is we have too many people at top level agreeing with the next guy up the ladder to enjoy there present status .
    As far as I am concerned the FiSa Olympic qualification is a farce ,too many good Europeans are not getting a crack at the Olympics at the expense of Asian ,African and other countries who simply are not fast enough ,every one quotes World record and prognostic times but in reality they are being compromised.for political correct theories ,in short look after disabled and different coloured skins and to hell with the rest of the sport.
    Whats most disapointing is the likes of Martin Cross and Jean Claude Rolland who came through a International Rowing structure which allowed them to reach the top of the sport and have profitted from this now want to see the whole thing dismantled and replaced by a few mickey mouse events to satisfy a continued presence at the Olympics.
    Its a dissapointing outcome which no one want to the support any thing other than the destruction of our great sport.
    The apathy and what is more disapointing that my continued critcism of rowing establishment is that they do not even defend themselves..
    Its a sad day that we do not even have a debate about these issues

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