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Skateboarding, Sport Climbing, Surfing and Breakdancing Approved for Paris 2024 Olympics

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Breakingdancing featured at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympics. Photo: Owen Hammond for WDSF

By Michael Pavitt |

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has turned down all requests for additional disciplines for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, with the organization instead confirming a reduction of events in weightlifting and the removal of the 50 kilometer race walk.

Skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and breaking were officially approved onto the Paris 2024 program, as had been widely expected. 

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) was successful in its effort to have extreme slalom included, with the men’s and women’s K1 200 meter sprint events cut to make way.

The IOC also confirmed it has suspended making a decision regarding offshore sailing featuring on the program.

The four sports were provisionally approved at the IOC Session last June, with the final decision subject to an 18-month monitoring period.

At Paris 2024, speed climbing is set to become a standalone event, while lead and bouldering will come together in a joint competition.

This differs to Tokyo 2020 where sport climbing will be a combined competition involving lead, bouldering and speed.

The IOC announced the Executive Board’s approval of the program today ensured exactly 50 percent male and female participation, rising from 48.8 percent female participation at Tokyo 2020.

The decisions will reduce the overall athlete quota to exactly 10,500, significantly less than the 11,091 competitors than had been expected. 

A final programme of 329 events will feature at Paris 2024, down from 339 from Tokyo 2020.

Weightlifting has seen the largest reduction in quota places and will see four events removed from the program.

The quota places were reduced from 260 at Rio 2016 to 196 at Tokyo 2020.

The ongoing crisis within the sport has contributed to a further reduction to 120 quota places for Paris 2024.

The IOC also warned that this did not mean weightlifting’s place was assured on the program.

Boxing has seen the second largest reduction in quota places with 34 removed, also influenced by the ongoing concerns about the International Boxing Association, which remains suspended and will not organise the tournament at Tokyo 2020. 

The IOC said the sport will reach full gender equality in athlete participation for the first time at Paris 2024.

Seven men’s and six women’s events will feature at the Games, compared to eight men’s and five women’s at Tokyo 2020.

Specific weight classes are due to be determined in the first quarter of 2021.

A series of proposals for new events had been made by International Federations.

The IOC claimed that limiting the overall number of events is a key element in curbing the growth of the Olympic programme, as well as additional costs.

This led to the organization rejecting the 41 applications from a number of sports. 

Changes to sport’s existing programs were approved, however, including the ICF’s move to add extreme slalom at the expense of the men’s and women’s K1 200m canoe sprint.

The IOC said it approved the change due to K1 canoeists also having the possibility to contest the men’s 1,000m and women’s 500m events at the Games.

The organization revealed it had considered the race walk program at the Games, which for Tokyo 2020 will comprise of the men’s and women’s 20km events, as well as the men’s 50km.

With additions to the program not considered and the IOC stressing the need for gender equality, the organization said the decision was made to cut the men’s 50km event with a view to a mixed gender competition.

A proposal from World Athletics to include cross country for the first time on the Olympic program since the last time Paris hosted the Games in 1924 was also rejected. 

“With a view to not increasing the overall size of the Olympic Games, the Executive Board determined to maintain the same number of athletics events on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic program (48), while offering the opportunity to World Athletics to replace the men’s 50km race walk event with a new mixed-gender event,” the IOC said.

“This replacement mixed-gender event could be either a race walk or a track event, as long as the event and competition format fit within the existing venue/courses.”

World Athletics have to confirm the event by May 31 next year. 

Approval was given for World Sailing’s new mixed kiteboarding and the mixed 470 events, which will replace the men’s and women’s 470 classes.

A decision has been postponed over the mixed offshore event, which is due to replace the men’s Finn. 

The IOC says this will allow the assessment of the key considerations around the cost, safety and security of the athletes.

Like athletics, a specific event proposal is due to be decided by May 31. 

Shooting’s program will see the inclusion of a mixed team skeet event in place of a mixed team trap competition.

Despite rejections for the Paris 2024 program, IOC sport director Kit McConnelloffered encouragement for cross country, coastal rowing and parkour for future Games.

“We had really detailed discussions with World Athletics regarding cross country, we know it is a key part of their strategic plan,” McConnell said.

“It had to fit into an existing Olympic venue and looking at the necessary adaptations.

“Looking at the potential venues, the equestrian eventing or mountain bike venues, it was quite expensive and complex to convert one of those venues into an athletics cross country venue.

“There is a view to look forward to this at Los Angeles [2028], where there is a very strong popularity in college and high school sport.

“There was a very strong proposal put forward by World Rowing regarding coastal rowing.

“There was a lot of interest in this being accessible around the world.

“We looked at this closely, but it was very difficult to bring in.

“It would have had to take place at the sailing marina in Marseille, which would have made the cost and complexity a challenge.

“There is support for looking at the proposal to swap the lightweights for coastal rowing moving forwards, but not possible this time forward.

“The only way parkour could have been added is if it replaced existing gymnastics events.

“The International Gymnastics Federation chose not to propose the replacement of any existing events with parkour.

“It was not a case of us rejecting parkour, parkour could add a lot to the Olympic Games in the future.”

Parkour is expected to feature as part of the youth-focused engagement plan around Paris 2024, just not as a medal event. 

The full program for Paris 2024 can be read here

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.

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