Olympic Updates for Paris 2024

Elizabeth Goetz, Editor

To support the changing world around us, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee has decided to implement a few changes in the upcoming Olympic games. The board hopes that these changes will not only embrace the post-covid world, but they will hopefully bring a younger viewing audience. The changes are as follows: 

Of the 41 requested new events, four will be introduced in 2024. These include skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing, and breakdancing (breaking). The committee decided to include the fourth event, breaking, because of the immense audience interest and success during the Youth Olympic Games in 2018. “Additionally,” Olympic.org adds, “The urban sport concept has been expanded, showcasing youth-focused events that are inclusive, engaging, and can be practiced outside conventional arenas.” 

Gender equality was another main focus for the board. For the first time in history, female athletes will make up exactly 50% of the total qualifiers. This is an increase of 4.4% since the Rio Olympics in 2016 and a 1.2% increase since the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Furthermore, 28 out of the 32 Olympic sports featured in Paris will be completely gender balanced. 

In order to keep the health of the athletes prioritized, the number of athletes will be reduced to 10,500. To put this into perspective, a total of 11,092 athletes qualified for the Tokyo Olympics; a reduction of about 600 athletes. According to Olympic.org, “It (the cutback of athletes) will also lead to a reduction in the number of officials, and therefore in the overall size and complexity of the games.”

By far, weightlifting took the hardest hit from these cuts. A total of four events in this sport alone were removed from the schedule. “The sport now has five events per gender, with a quota of 120 athletes, compared to 196 in Tokyo (and prior to that, 260 at Rio 2016), with the specific weight classes to be finalised by the IWF in the fourth quarter of 2021,” Olympic.org continues. 

After all is said and done, there are many new changes to be implemented during the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, and there is no doubt that they will be much different than prior years. However, change should not be something to shy away from. As the world changes, and its top athletes only improve, it is truly exciting to see where the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad and beyond will take its viewers. 

References:

IOC. “Gender Equality and Youth at the Heart of the Paris 2024 Olympic Sports Programme.” 

Olympic.org, IOC, 7 Dec. 2020, www.olympic.org/news/gender-equality-and-youth-at- 

the-heart-of-the-paris-2024-olympic-sports-programme.