Atlanta 1996 Olympic champion Wladimir Klitschko (UKR) has been announced today as the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) Champion.
The super-heavyweight legend will join the BTF along with the 10 Athlete Ambassadors, who were nominated earlier this year in an effort to promote the athletes’ voice by engaging with the athletes face-to-face at the competition venues as well as through digital channels on issues that are most prevalent within the boxing community.
Klitschko will be engaging with athletes and fans at selected Boxing Road to Tokyo qualifying events, and across digital channels, helping the BTF to spread the values of boxing and fair play.
Klitschko said: “I had the chance of taking part in the Olympic Games in 1996. That participation was the origin of my further career – and in some way made me the person I am today. Now I want to give back what I received and support the initiative for boxers to keep getting the same chances I had and be part of the next Olympic Games.”
The BTF was created by the IOC Executive Board (EB) in June 2019. This followed a decision by the IOC Session to keep boxing on the sports programme for Tokyo 2020, but to suspend IOC recognition of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) due to concerns over finance, governance, ethics and refereeing and judging.
The IOC EB gave the Boxing Task Force the mandate to organise and deliver the five qualification events for boxing and the Olympic boxing competition in Tokyo, and to develop a Tokyo 2020 qualification system for boxing. The overarching goal of the BTF is to minimise any disruption for the athletes and to create a clear, just and fair pathway for boxers to realise their dream of competing in the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The Tokyo 2020 tournament will feature 286 boxers (186 men, 100 women) competing in 13 weight classes (eight for men, five for women). Olympic Quota Places will be awarded during the Boxing Road to Tokyo, which comprises four continental qualifiers to be held in Dakar, Senegal (20-29 February), Amman, Jordan (Asian/Oceanian qualifier, 3-11 March), London, Great Britain (European qualifier, 14-24 March) and Buenos Aires, Argentina (Americas qualifier, 26 March–3 April). A fifth and last competition, the Final World Qualifying Event, will be held in Paris, France, from 13 to 20 of May.
The qualifiers will be broadcast by the Olympic Channel, through multi-platform coverage that will include live streaming of all bouts across all weight categories from the first day of competition through to the finals for each event. Coverage will be available in all territories worldwide at olympicchannel.com and its apps for mobile and connected TV devices. Find additional information and updates on the events at https://boxing.athlete365.org