Summer Sports

1 more hurdle for breakdancing, 3 other new sports at 2024 Olympics

Breakdancing and three other sports have taken another step toward appearing at the Paris 2024 Olympics after the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday voted in favour of their inclusion.

Paris Games organizers want to deliver program that attracts new, younger audience

The International Olympic Committee on Tuesday voted in favour of breakdancing’s inclusion at the 2024 Summer Olympics in France. One hurdle remains. (Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Getty Images/File)

Breakdancing and three other sports took another step toward appearing at the Paris 2024 Olympics after the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday voted in favour of their inclusion.

The Paris 2024 organizing committee in February proposed surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing as well as breakdancing for inclusion in the Games, and the IOC's executive board gave the initial green light in March.

On Tuesday the IOC session voted unanimously for their inclusion in the 2024 program, but the sports face one final review in late 2020 before a final decision is taken, IOC president Thomas Bach said.

Surfing, climbing and skateboarding will be part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and their performance as new sports there will be monitored by the IOC before a final decision is taken on their inclusion in Paris.

It is planned that the four sports will have a total 248 athletes, split evenly between men and women.

Paris Games organizers said they want to deliver a program that is in keeping with the times and will attract a new and younger audience.

Venue search begins Wednesday

"It's important for us in our concept to put sports out of the stadiums and in the heart of the city," said Tony Estanguet, the Paris 2024 president.

Estanguet said the search for a venue will only start Wednesday now that his fellow IOC members have added their approval.

Under new IOC rules first introduced for the Tokyo Games, Olympic host cities can hand-pick sports and propose them for inclusion in those Games if they are popular in that country and add to the Games' appeal.

The IOC is eager to refresh the Games' sports program to remain relevant to sponsors, broadcasters and fans.

Surfing will spread the Paris Olympics out of the capital, potentially in the south-west French city of Biarritz, with sailing races already set for Marseille.

'A lot of options' for surfing

"Paris 2024 will choose a venue offering natural waves, as France boasts a number of well-known surfing spots on its Atlantic coast and in its overseas territories," the organizing committee said in a statement.

French Polynesia, the Caribbean and Indian Ocean could all be proposed, International Surfing Association president Fernando Aguerre noted.

"There's a lot of options. A lot of them seem to be very, very positive," Aguerre said, adding a decision was expected later this year.

All four sports must still prove themselves to Olympic observers, and could yet be removed from the Paris program ahead of final approval by the IOC board.

It is too late to add a replacement should any fall short, Estanguet said.

With files from The Associated Press


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