Sport climbing came one step closer to earning a place at a second Olympic Games yesterday. At the 134th International Olympic Committee session in Lausanne, Switzerland, the IOC unanimously voted to provisionally include Sport Climbing in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Surfing, skateboarding and break dancing (breaking) were also provisionally voted in.
The final decision on the sports to be included in Paris 2024 will be made in December 2020. Until then, the IOC will keep a close eye on climbing competitions and assess Sport Climbing's debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games, which will play a key role in determining its potential return in the 2024 Games.
"The four sports that Paris has proposed are all totally in line with Olympic Agenda 2020 because they contribute to making the program more gender balanced and more urban, and offer the opportunity to connect with the younger generation,' IOC President Thomas Bach commented.
While the current triple discipline Combined format of Speed, Boulder Lead - with just 40 places and six medals in total for men and women - has received a mixed reception from athletes and fans, the proposal for the Paris 2024 Games would include a Lead and Boulder Combined event and a separate Speed event, increasing the athlete quota to 72 (20 men and 20 women in the Combined, and 16 men and 16 women in Speed) and doubling the medal count to 12 (Gold, Silver, Bronze in two events, for men and women). This revised format could change ahead of Paris 2024, should Sport Climbing make the final cut.
The separation of Speed from the more popular and arguably more compatible disciplines of Boulder and Lead has been welcomed by athletes as a positive step towards a potential 3-way split with individual medals for each discipline - and possibly one for Combined - in the future.
In the past few weeks, athletes and fans were photographed making Eiffel Tower gestures with their hands to show their support for Sport Climbing's inclusion in the 2024 Games as part of a social media campaign run by the IFSC.
Sport Climbing's debut in Tokyo will be held from the 4th-7th August 2020 in the Aomi Urban Sports Park. UKC will be present at the Games having successfully applied for a press accreditation. In the meantime, we will be collaborating with the IFSC on an Olympic public engagement project having been identified as a key player within the climbing industry.
Ticket information for Tokyo 2020 can be found here.
Stay tuned for more Olympic content as we near the one-year-to-go mark ahead of Tokyo 2020...