19 January 2024

Dear paddlers and enthusiasts from around the globe.

I am honored to stand before you today on this momentous occasion—the centenary of the International Canoe Federation.

As we celebrate 100 years of paddling excellence, carrying the weight of history and stories, we remember the names and faces of our dedicated stakeholders all over the world, who have paved the way for the success of canoeing.

Your passion, commitment, and unwavering support have brought us to where we are today.

To each one of you, I extend my heartfelt congratulations and deepest gratitude for your invaluable contributions to making our sport great!  

On January 19, 1924, the International Representative Body for Canoeing was born, laying the foundation for what would become the International Canoe Federation. Since then, our journey has been nothing short of extraordinary.

From being a demonstration sport at the Olympic Games in Paris in 1924 to evolving into one of the cornerstones of the Olympic Movement with 16 events, canoeing has grown into a very popular sport on a globe scale.  

Our community has flourished, embracing 171 National Federations, supporting millions of recreational paddlers, and nurturing thousands of athletes who compete in approximately 32 ICF events each year.

As we stand here today, we proudly represent not only Olympic disciplines but also non-Olympic disciplines like SUP and Dragon Boat, showcasing the diverse and inclusive nature of canoeing. 

Today, I am excited to announce the commencement of a year-long celebration marking the ICF's 100th anniversary.

Starting on January 19, our celebration will coincide with the Paris Olympics, and throughout the year, we will host a series of activities both on and off the water. I invite every one of you—paddlers, enthusiasts, and supporters—to join us in commemorating this milestone. 

The celebration will reach its peak at the ICF Congress in Antalya this November, where we will host a centenary celebration evening.

Representatives from all National Federations, partners, and esteemed guests from the International Olympic Committee and International Federations will join us to mark this historic occasion. 

 Today is not just a reflection on our past but a commitment to our future.

The ICF is ambitious, striving to achieve even greater heights. We aim to make our sport more enjoyable to everyone, support paddlers across the globe, and elevate the world of canoeing sports.  

In the spirit of the ICF motto, let us always move forward!

Together, we will make the next 100 years even more remarkable.

Thank you, and happy anniversary to the International Canoe Federation and all of you!

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