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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 26 February 2021

Parkour and breakdancing in line to be included in 2024 Paris Olympics programme

Dispute over ownership of parkour as a sport could be a hindrance

The street-running sport of parkour could be added to 2024 Paris Olympics programme. AP
The street-running sport of parkour could be added to 2024 Paris Olympics programme. AP

The 2024 Paris Olympics could have two radical additions to their programme in the form of parkour and breakdancing.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board will meet on Monday to finalise the sports programme for the Paris Games. Requests to add new medal events or modify existing ones are expected from governing bodies.

The International Gymnastics Federation, which will have 18 medal events at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, has againasked for parkour’s inclusion after being denied for Tokyo. Paris is where parkour was developed in the 1990s.

Parkour’s spectacular tricks in an urban setting has clear appeal at a time when the Olympics is targeting a younger audience.

However, its inclusion won't be as simple given the dispute over its ownership.

Organisers of parkour had earlier urged the IOC to reject adding the obstacle course-style street-running event to the 2024 Paris Games because of a dispute with the governing body of gymnastics.

The Parkour Earth group has for years opposed what it calls a “hostile takeover” of the sport by the gymnastics federation, also known as FIG.

Skateboarding, 3-on-3 basketball and sport climbing will make their debuts in Tokyo. The Associated Press and BBC reported that breakdancing is expected be an Olympic sport in Paris.

However, what could count against parkour for the Paris Games is the IOC’s policy of adding medal events that involve only the existing pool of athletes.

The Associated Press reported the IOC does not want to increase the overall quota of 10,500 athletes competing in 2024, and parkour competitors are separate from FIG’s Olympic disciplines of artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, and trampoline.

Despite the dispute with Parkour Earth, FIG plan to stage their first parkour world championships in March. Events in parkour speed and parkour freestyle are scheduled to be held in Hiroshima, Japan.

“The collaboration is a natural fit,” the Lausanne-based gymnastics body said, “as several national gymnastics federations affiliated with the FIG already offer parkour activities.”

Published: December 6, 2020 03:35 PM

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