(ATR) The Paris Olympics get their wish from the IOC to add four dynamic sports to the 2024 Games.
Three of the sports - skateboard, sport climbing and surfing - are already on the program of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Breaking will make its debut in Paris.
The decision was unanimous by the IOC, meeting in Lausanne this week.
Paris 2024 chairman Tony Estanguet told the IOC that four criteria guided Paris in selecting which sports it wants to include. He says accessibility, affordability, youth orientation and creativity were all considered in the choice of the four sports.
Estanguet says 89 percent of the youth in France surveyed say they support the four sports.
Along with leaders of the Paris organizing committee, top competitors in sport climbing and breaking took to the podium to make reasoned pitches to the IOC members.
"The atmosphere will be electric," promised climber Petra Klingler. The 27-year-old from Switzerland has been a world champion a number of times in her career.
Breaker Mounir Biba, 35, was once one of the top competitors in France. He said the sport will help bringyoung people to the Olympics. The event was held under the Olympic rings for the first time at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games.
Samira Asghari of Afghanistan, the youngest member of the IOC, 24 from Afghanistan, says the Olympics "must reflect the sports followed by young people".
"It is our duty to support this," she said in her first intervention since being elected to the IOC last year.
Pal Schmitt, one of the oldest members of the IOC, recommended that the number of athletes be increased in the new sports. The 78- year-old from Hungary has been an IOC member since 1983.
The four sports in Paris will include a total of 248 athletes, less than half the number who will participate in the five additional sports that are on the Tokyo program. The Tokyo figure is much larger due to the inclusion of the team sports of baseball and women’s softball.
The IOC Program Commission also proposed the program of sports for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games now set for Milan-Cortina. No surprises here: the seven sports confirmed are the same ones already part of the program.
The commission is chaired by Franco Carraro, the senior member of the IOC in Italy. He will leave the IOC this year at age 80. He says this was his final report of the commission after 20 years.
Homepage photo: Getty Images
Written and reported in Lausanne by Ed Hula
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