Breaking news: IOC approves four additional sports for Paris 2024
Breaking, or breakdancing, will make its Olympic entrance in Paris in five years' time after the International Olympic Committee today unanimously approved it as one of four sports for inclusion on the programme at the 2024 games.
Following a lengthy presentation and a number of questions (mainly pleasantries) from the IOC membership, the session backed the Paris 2024 organising committee's proposal, submitted earlier this year, for breaking, surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing to feature.
The membership could only approve or reject all four sports as a package, not select individual sports.
The four sports will comprise 12 events in total, less than 4 per cent of the programme, and an additional 248 athletes, which will form part of the total of 10,500 athletes set out in the Olympic Charter.
In comparision, surfing, skateboarding, climbing, karate and baseball-softball, which have been added to the Tokyo 2020 programme, will comprise an additional 474 athletes.
Tony Estanguet, president of Paris 2024, told the IOC session it had been a difficult decision to get down to four sports - they were proposed in February - having met with 19 international federations.
He said the final decision was made on three key criteria: no new permanent venues to be built; sports that could prioritise venue sharing; and gender equality.
The four sports, according to Paris 2024, "all embody youth, elite performance, spectacular experiences and inclusiveness."The breakdown of the four additional sports for Paris 2024 are:
- Breaking (two events, 32 athletes: 16 women and 16 men)
- Skateboarding (four events, 96 athletes: 48 women and 48 men)
- Sport climbing (four events, 72 athletes: 36 women and 36 men)
- Surfing (2 events, 48 athletes: 24 women and 24 men).
Breaking was included in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires last October, and its inclusion marks another indication of a move towards attracting a new, younger following to the main event.
Shawn Tay, president of the World DanceSport Federation, breaking's governing body, said in a statement immediately after the IOC vote: “Today is a historic day for the DanceSport community and the discipline of breaking. We are sure breaking will be an outstanding success in Paris and will add lots of energy, athletic excellence, innovation and youth appeal to the Olympic Games.”
Sports that had hoped to be in contention for 2024 were squash, billiards, chess and Trial-E, electric trials bike racing
A final decision on the programme will be subject to observation of the performance of the new sports at the Tokyo 2020 games, and the finalisation of the Paris 2024 programme and athletes quotas in December 2020.