(ATR) The fate of breakdancing and three other sports at the Paris Olympics is now in the hands of the IOC.
Paris 2024 announced its choices for new sports last month (Getty Images)
The IOC Program Commission met March 8 in Lausanne to hear from Paris 2024 over its decision to nominate four sports as the additional events to be included along with the regular program of 28 summer Olympic sports.
The 18-member commission includes 10 IOC members, led by Franco Carraro of Italy, serving in his final year before retiring as an IOC member.
Along with breaking, as it’s known as well, climbing, skateboarding and surfing are on the Paris menu. For those other three, Paris would be an encore, as they are part of the program for Tokyo 2020. Breaking made its Olympic debut in 2018 at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
“The Olympic Program Commission is conducting its review into the four additional sports proposed by Paris 2024. A report is expected to be made to the IOC Executive Board at the end of March. Their proposal will then go to the IOC Session in June,” says an IOC spokesperson.
The recommendations of the Program Commission are just that, advisory. The EB could make changes later this month and the IOC session could well have the final say. An IOC session vote in 2005 ousted baseball and softball from the program. It was the first time since polo had been cut 70 years before, that the IOC voted to drop sports from the program.
A member of the commission who spoke to Around the Rings
on background says it seems likely that the IOC will approve, depending on the outcome in Tokyo for climbing, skateboarding and surfing.
As for breakdancing, which may be the most jarring addition in the eyes of sports traditionalists, the commission member says there is substance behind the event.
“Breaking is a much bigger activity/sport than traditionalists understand,” says the commission member who is also on the IOC.
The announcement two weeks ago by Paris of the four sports chosen triggered disappointment with federations which had been campaigning for Paris.
Leaders of World Karate Federation met for 90 minutes this week with Paris 2024 to make another appeal. The Japanese born martial art is included in Tokyo 2020.
Riccardo Fraccari, president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation, also included in Tokyo but left out for Paris, met a week ago with IOC President Thomas Bach to lobby for the bat and ball sports.
Squash federation leaders will meet with members of the Professional Squash Association to figure out their next steps. Squash has also been campaigning for more than a decade for a spot on the program.
Reported by Ed Hula.
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