Road To The Olympic Games

Summer Sports

2024 Paris Olympics sports programme focuses on historic gender equality

The International Olympic Committee approved the new event programme and athlete quotas for the Paris 2024 Olympics on Monday, with a clear focus on promoting gender equality among participating athletes.

Games will have 50 per cent female participation for 1st time in Olympic history

There will be an even split between female and male participation at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Athletics, boxing and cycling will be gender equal for the first time at the Games. (Money Sharma/Getty Images)

For the first time in Olympic history, the exact same number of male and female athletes will be participating.

The International Olympic Committee approved the new event programme and athlete quotas for the Paris 2024 Olympics on Monday, with a clear focus on promoting gender equality among participating athletes.

Along with the addition of four Olympic events, including breakdancing, the event programme also revealed that there will be an even 50 per cent split between female and male participation.

The result is that 28 out of 32 sports will be fully gender equal, and there will also be an increase in mixed gender events with 22 compared to Tokyo's 18. Athletics, boxing and cycling will be gender equal for the very first time.

"While we will achieve gender equality already at the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, we will see for the first time in Olympic history the participation of the exact same number of female athletes as male athletes. There is also a strong focus on youth," IOC President Thomas Bach said.

While the upcoming Tokyo Games are set to be the first gender equal Olympics with 48.8 per cent of participants being female, that number will grow to 50 per cent for the first time in Olympic history at Paris 2024.

The programme also set a 10,500-athlete quota for Paris, which will reduce the total number of athletes down from Tokyo's 11,092. The goal is to cut down the overall size, cost and complexity of the Olympics.

Also in line with this change, the total number of events will decrease from 339 to 329 compared to Tokyo.

"With this programme, we are making the Olympic Games Paris 2024 fit for the post-corona world," Bach said.

4 additional sports

The IOC's pursuit of urban events to lure a younger audience saw breakdancing officially added to the medal events program at the 2024 Paris Games.

Also confirmed for Paris by the IOC executive board were skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing.

Those three sports will make their Olympic debuts at the Tokyo Games which were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic by one year to open on July 23, 2021.

However, Paris organizers need time to prepare their project and so the IOC kept to its long-time schedule to confirm the 2024 sports lineup this month even before some are tested in Tokyo.

Breakdancing will be called breaking at the Olympics, as it was in the 1970s by hip-hop pioneers in the United States.

It was proposed by Paris organizers almost two years ago after positive trials at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires. Breaking passed further stages of approval in 2019 from separate decisions by the IOC board and full membership.

In Paris, breaking has been given a prestige downtown venue, joining sport climbing and 3-on-3 basketball at Place de le Concorde.

Surfing will be held far from France — more than 15,000 kilometres away in the Pacific Ocean — at the beaches of Tahiti, as the IOC already agreed in March.

With files from The Associated Press

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