The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has just voted unanimously (as a provisional decision) to add sport climbing to the roster of events in the 2024 Olympics Games. During the June 24 vote in Lausanne, Switzerland, surfing, skateboarding, and break dancing were also accepted. “The four sports that Paris has proposed are all totally in line with Olympic Agenda 2020,” said IOC President Thomas Bach, “because they contribute to making the program more gender balanced and more urban, and offer the opportunity to connect with the younger generation.”
Sport climbing will make its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with four events (two male events and two female events). Each event will combine bouldering, lead, and speed. According to the IOC, “in Lead [athletes] have one attempt to reach the top of a 15m high wall counting on their tactics and endurance, while they have to complete several 4.5m high routes made of spectacular movements in Bouldering. In Speed, athletes race against each other, and the world record time, on a standardised wall.”
While the IOC vote is certainly encouraging to climbers, it is only a provisional vote thus far. The IOC’s executive board will make the final decision on the proposed new events for the 2024 Games in December 2020. Until then, the popularity and success of climbing competitions — including in Tokyo 2020 — will be monitored by the IOC, with the format for Paris subject to change based on their findings.