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What’s new for Paris 2024

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Current Events |

Set to take place from July 26, 2024, to August 11, 2024, the Paris 2024 Olympics will introduce changes and new sports, continuing the tradition of innovation in the Games. The Olympic Games have always been a dynamic event, with sports coming and going to reflect the changing trends and interests in the global athletic community. For instance, tug-of-war, jeu de paume, croquet, and water motorsports were all included in the Olympic Games before 1924 but have since been discontinued. Others (like track and field, swimming, gymnastics, tennis, cycling and fencing) remain since the 1896 games, perhaps with changes in rules or formats.

Breaking makes its debut

Among the highlights is the debut of breaking, also known as breakdancing. It originated in the Bronx during the 1970s and has evolved into a competitive sport with its own international events and judging system. After its introduction at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, the regular games contest will feature 16 male and female dancers, known as B-Boys and B-Girls, competing in a unique format where they don’t know the music in advance and must improvise their moves. Judges will score on creativity, personality, technique, variety, performativity and musicality, emphasizing the first two criteria. Contestants go head-to-head in solo battles.

Men’s artistic swimming makes its debut

While the women’s competition, then called synchronized swimming, was added in 1984), the Olympics added a men’s competition to highlight gender parity among sports. There will be duet and team competitions, which will introduce an acrobatic routine.

Surfing takes place in Tahiti

Surfing, which made its Olympic debut in Tokyo, will make its second appearance not in Paris but in Teahupo’o, Tahiti, known for its challenging waves. This choice of location in French Polynesia highlights the sport’s connection to diverse and dynamic natural environments. The event will take place during a 10-day window between July 27 and August 5. Five judges will grade tricks on the waves, speed, power and flow (connecting moves).

Skateboarding returns

Skateboarding also returns after its successful introduction in Tokyo, with competitions held at Place de La Concorde in both street and park categories. Japan, which dominated the skateboarding events in Tokyo, will likely be a strong contender again. Each event consists of prelims and finals. Judges will look at skaters height and speed of tricks, and using the skate park’s surface area.

Sport climbing expands

Sport climbing, another sport that debuted in Tokyo, will see an expansion in the number of athletes and a split in the competition format into bouldering (4.5-meter wall with no ropes) and lead (15-meter wall not seen ahead of time and must be climbed in less than six minutes) combined events, alongside a separate speed event, providing climbers with more specialized challenges.

Other notable changes

There were tweaks and changes to existing competitions:

  • There will be a new canoe slalom category, where athletes race directly against each other. There are four downstream gates and two upstream ones. Missing a gate is instant disqualification.
  • A new women’s weight class in boxing (between flyweight and featherweight) while removing a men’s class for a total of 13 events.
  • There will be the addition of mixed events in sailing and shooting.
  • Track and field will see the introduction of a mixed relay in the marathon race walk. There will be a repechage round for middle-distance races, giving athletes a second chance to qualify for the semifinals.

Striving for diversity and inclusivity

According to the Olympic organization, these changes and additions to the Paris Olympics will not only refresh the Games but also aim to make them more inclusive and reflective of global trends in sports.