In a bid to attract a younger audience, the International Olympic Committee is bringing several new sports into the fold, but parkour is not one of them.
Parkour will not be added to the list of new sports in the upcoming Olympic games, an International Olympic Committee decision that came as good news to the sport’s international federation.
That’s because representatives for the obstacle course-style street-running event campaigned against the application to join the international games.
Chris Keighley, director at Parkour Earth, said his organisation campaigned against the application to include the sport, which instead came from the International Gymnastics Federation.
“We passionately believe that the people that are best placed to help direct parkour’s future are the international parkour community,” Keighley told Euronews, stating that it was a question of “autonomy” and controlling the “destiny” of the sport.
“Any time you come up against these big, international, bureaucratic federations, that are trying to take something under their wing, it’s very rare that they’re doing it for the best intentions of the sport at heart,” he said.
Keighley added that the community was “passionate” and “vibrant”, stating that there’s a difference between “rushing to do something and taking your time to do it right”.
The International Olympic Committee added several new sports to the games line up nonetheless but said that they were not rejecting parkour.
“The gymnastics federation chose not to propose the replacement of any of the existing events with parkour,” IOC sports director Kit McConnell explained of the decision. “So it wasn’t a matter of us rejecting parkour.”
Skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing will debut at the delayed Olympics in Tokyo in 2021 while breakdancing will feature from the Paris 2024 competition.
Watch the interview with Chris Keighley in the player above.