How are new sports included in the Olympics (and does esports fit the mould)?
With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games rapidly (we hope) approaching, debates about the Olympic programme have once again begun. A total of 33 Olympic sports and 22 Paralympic sports will be contested at the Tokyo 2020 Games. This implies that many other sports and disciplines will not have the opportunity to shine during the highlight of this summer’s sporting calendar. Indeed, inclusion in the Olympic programme is seen as a fast-track to popularity with increased exposure, sponsor income and participation.
Accordingly, this article examines:
- how sports qualify for Olympic inclusion;
- the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) criteria for selecting new sports; and
- where esports currently stand (an interesting case study as it splits opinion and exemplifies broader tensions around the governance and commerciality of new sports formats).
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- Tags: Esports | Global Association of International Sports Federations | Governance | International Esports Federation | Olympic Charter | Olympics | Paris 2024 Olympics | Regulation | Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games