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IOC claims progress in delivering skateboarding’s Olympic Games debut

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has claimed progress in the effort to develop a collaborative model to deliver skateboarding’s summer Olympic Games debut at the 2020 event in Tokyo.

Following the inclusion of skateboarding in the sporting programme for Tokyo 2020, the IOC has been working with the International Roller Sports Federation (FIRS) and the International Skateboarding Federation (ISF) in a bid to “embrace” the global skateboarding community.

Skateboarding’s path to the Olympic Games has been marked by disputes over the administration of the sport. However, the IOC has now reported on progress made following a joint meeting with FIRS and the ISF last week.

At the meeting the IOC said it highlighted the recognition of FIRS as the governing body for skateboarding, while “acknowledging” the ISF’s “extensive experience and expertise” in the organisation of skateboarding events and the representation of skateboarders. Engagement with the skateboarding community and support for the unique character of the sport have been highlighted as key elements of the plans for Tokyo 2020.

A Tokyo 2020 Skateboarding Commission has been established between FIRS and the ISF in order to work towards the delivery of skateboarding competitions at the highest level at the Olympic Games. The Commission has responsibility for the preparation and organisation of the sporting and technical elements of the Olympic skateboarding competitions, with FIRS having responsibility for the institutional elements. The Commission will attend the 2017 FIRS Annual Congress in Nanjing this month.

At national level, it has been agreed that FIRS member national federations will normally be recognised by their respective National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and will engage with and support the existing skateboarding community for the benefit of skateboarders.

FIRS has also confirmed that funding resulting from the inclusion of skateboarding in the Olympic Games will be directed to skateboarding programmes and activities, with respect to existing activities.

The addition of skateboarding to the Tokyo 2020 programme was unanimously supported by August’s 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro and was part of the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic programme in modern history. The four other new sports added to the sports programme were baseball/softball, karate, sports climbing and surfing.