Top on his list of priority is leveling the playing field in terms of gender representation in both Canoe Sprint and Canoe Slalom, the two Canoeing disciplines contested at the Olympic Games.
"It's clear that for future Olympic Games we want to have equality amongst the men and women events. It will work," he said. "I don't know (about) 2020, but sure in 2024 there will be equality. In Sprint and Slalom.
It's not possible that we continue without including ladies in all the events in the Olympic Games
Perurena Lopez said it was the ICF's "full and first priority" to introduce the Women's Canoe Single (Women’s C1) to the Olympic slalom program, if not in Rio in time for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Just recently the International Olympic Committee (IOC) accepted the inclusion of Women’s Canoe (Sprint and Slalom) to the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing China.
The ICF President however noted that it would take time for the Women’s C1 event in Canoe Sprint to grow to the extent that it would justify its inclusion in the Sport Programme of the Olympic Games. "The problem for us is also the quota (of events in Canoeing)," Perurena Lopez said. "We have a very small quota. In Barcelona 1992, we introduced the Slalom in the Olympic Games. After Atlanta (in 1996), the IOC wanted to take the Slalom out of the Olympic Programme but we persuaded them not to."
"They agreed, but only if we use our quota for sprint and slalom combined. We need more quota places if we want to include more women. Without that, it's difficult."
Besides the issue of gender inequality there can be no doubt that Canoeing has come out on top: there was the spectacular and picturesque Lee Valley White Water Center, venue of the Canoe Slalom event, there was great spectator turnout at both venues.
There were also many new nations that challenged the traditional winners for (and won) medals and the new 200m won by Great Britain's Ed McKeever, now appropriately refered to as Canoeing's "Bolt on water", was very well received.
It has been mentioned that this is the best representation of Canoeing at an Olympic Games and none of this could have happened without the professionalism and meticulous organisation of the competition by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, Canoe Team, volunteers was unparalleled in Canoeing event history.
Canoeing had everything going for it at the London 2012, leaving it in good shape heading into the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. The challenge now is to keep the momentum going.
NOTE SPORTSCENE - We believe that the time line of 2020-2024 to achieve equality is (too) conservative but certainly there is pressure both ways (IOC and the Sport) so it will be interesting to follow this topic...