LAUSANNE, Switzerland – Parkour organizers on Tuesday called on the International Olympic Committee to refuse to include the obstacle course-style road running event in the Paris 2024 Olympics over a dispute with the gymnastics federation.
The Parkour Earth group has been around for years opposed what it calls a “hostile takeover” des sport by the International Gymnastics Federation, known as FIG.
“Unfortunately FIG’s interference and embezzlement in our sport continues,” said Parkour Earth wrote in a letter Tuesday to the IOC.
The IOC board will meet on Monday and on the agenda is the completion of the sports program for the Paris Games. Inquiries from governing bodies to add medal events or change existing ones are expected.
FIG, which will have 18 medal events at the Tokyo Olympics next year, is expected to ask again to include parkour. Parkour was developed in Paris in the 1990s.
Parkour’s spectacular tricks in an urban setting are clearly attractive at a time when the Olympics are appealing to younger audiences.
Skateboarding, 3-on-3 basketball and sport climbing will all make their debut in Tokyo, despite the IOC rejecting FIG’s parkour proposal. Break dancing will be an Olympic sport in Paris in 2024.
What counts against parkour for the Paris Games is the IOC’s policy of adding medal events that only involve the existing pool of athletes. The IOC does not want to increase the total quota of 10,500 athletes in 2024, and parkour participants are separated from the FIG Olympic disciplines for artistic and rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline.
Despite the dispute with Parkour Earth, FIG is planning the first Parkour World Championships March. Parkour Speed and Parkour Freestyle events are held in Hiroshima, Japan.
“The collaboration is a natural fit,” said the Lausanne-based gymnastics federation, “as several national gymnastics federations affiliated with the FIG already offer parkour activities.”