Kiteboarding set for Paris 2024 as IOC plans eSports summit
Kiteboarding finally looks set to make its Olympic Games debut in Paris in 2024, after the World Sailing council approved it as one of 10 disciplines on the programme.
Male and female windsurfing, a mixed one person dinghy event and a mixed double-handed dinghy team event were also approved to join the five existing classes.
The sailing competitions will take place in Marseille, on France's south coast.
The International Kiteboarding Association said in a statement: "We will work closely with World Sailing to ensure that the format reflects the wishes and dreams of the competitive kiteboarders all around the world to showcase hydrofoil kite racing at its best."
The decision may well be challenged by the rival International Federation of Kitesports Organisations, which has called into question World Sailing’s legitimacy to govern kiteboarding.
Kiteboarding was slated to make its Olympics debut in Rio in 2016, but a controversial decision by World Sailing’s council in 2012 to replace windsurfing with kiteboarding was quickly reversed.
World Sailing subsequently said it would push for extra medals at Tokyo 2020, with kiteboarding given preference, but not at the expense of traditional sailing medals. However, following extensive debate, it was decided that the 10 sailing events and equipment that featured at the Rio Olympics would remain for Tokyo.
eSports The International Olympic Committee has invited a range of eSports stakeholders to Lausanne in July to discuss the industry's possible inclusion in the Olympics.
Bach told German sports broadcaster Sport1 that the purpose of the summit is to "enter into a dialogue with the gaming industry as well as esports athletes, and in due course, approach the stakeholders of the Olympic movement."
In October last year, an Olympic Summit, comprising ‘leading representatives of the Olympic Movement’, confirmed that eSports can “be considered as a sporting activity,” an apparent step towards eSports being included in a future Olympic Games.
The Paris 2024 organising committee recently played down a suggestion that eSports might be included as a ‘demonstration’ event at the games, after Leopold Chung, acting secretary general of the International e-Sports Federation, told the UK's Press Association: “IESF is in conversation with Paris City to promote eSports momentum, and if possible, to support for eSports to be included to take part in the Paris 2024 Olympics as a cultural event or demonstration event.”
Official demonstration sports at the Olympics were discontinued after the 1992 games in Barcelona, albeit organisers of the Beijing 2008 Olympics received permission from the IOC to run a wushu competition in parallel with the games, and two eSports competitions were also held in PyeongChang ahead of this year’s winter Olympic Games, as part of a tie-up between the IOC and TOP sponsor Intel, the computer chip giant.