The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have been urged by Parkour Earth to reject adding the sport to Paris Olympics in 2024 due a “hostile takeover” by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).
Organisers of the Parkour sport have detailed in the past a long running dispute between themselves and the FIG.
In an open letter addressed to the IOC, Parkour Earth wrote: “Unfortunately, FIG's encroachment and misappropriation of our sport continues.”
An IOC executive board meeting has been scheduled for Monday where a final decision is set to be made regarding the sports that will be included in the Paris Games. Governing bodies are expected to request the addition of new medal events or a modification to existing ones.
One of those governing bodies is likely to be the FIG, who have 18 medal events at next year’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics and are likely to request for parkour’s inclusion in Paris, the city where the sport was first developed in the 1990s. Reportedly, the IOC are considering parkours inclusion to help target younger audience members.
In Tokyo 2020, new events such as skateboarding, 3-on-3 basketball and sport climbing will make their debuts, where the FIG’s first plea to enter parkour into the Olympics was rejected.
The FIG may struggle to convince the IOC however, who are wary of not wanting to increase their quota of 10,500 athletes competing in 2024, as parkour athletes would not be included in FIG’s Olympic disciplines of artistic and rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline.
In the face of the ongoing dispute with Parkour Earth, the FIG are still hoping to host the first parkour world championships in March 2021 to be held in Hiroshima, Japan.
Meanwhile, IOC president Thomas Bach is set to stand unchallenged for the presidency re-election in March next year.
Bach, who was first elected in 2013, is set to be appointed for his second and final term in the role, which will finish in 2025.
During his time as president, he had to deal with unprecedented events, including the postponement of the Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian doping scandal. Bach was criticised for centralising the power on the IOC’s ruling executive board but has overseen the awarding of the games to Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028, alongside a US$7.65 billion rights deal with NBC for the Olympic Games until 2032.
Author: Jake Wilkin