Nellie Kim has expressed her concerns over the FIG's pursuit of parkour ©FIG

Five-time Olympic gymnastics gold medallist Nellie Kim has said the sport should not lose its identity as the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) continues its promotion of parkour.

The FIG voted to officially include parkour as a new gymnastics discipline at its Congress in December 2018.

The FIG has been repeatedly accused of usurping the governance of the sport by rival organisaton Parkour Earth.

Kim, an FIG vice-president, has questioned the governing body’s pursuit of parkour.

"An issue that I’m not a fan of is one of the work methods of our President: to bring street sports, almost like track and field, to our federation - like parkour," she told Russian website

"In my opinion, it’s more of an extreme sport.

"The President’s goal is to make our federation the biggest one in the world, to get ahead of track and field and football while attracting young people.

"It’s nice when we try attracting young people but gymnastics shouldn’t lose its face and identity.

"I want to do a lot of things in the federation, to turn some things upside down.

"I want to leave when gymnastics comes back to its best days.

"Our sport used to be a symbol of something beautiful, kind, and interesting and people appreciated it."

The FIG has proposed parkour for potential inclusion at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games ©Getty Images
The FIG has proposed parkour for potential inclusion at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games ©Getty Images

An inaugural Parkour World Championships was due to be held by the FIG earlier this year, following a World Cup series, but the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The FIG has proposed parkour as an additional discipline for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Kim also offered a critical assessment of the governing body’s current direction, with the gymnast-turned-official suggesting the FIG could benefit from improved governance and transparency.

"When I was the President of the Technical Committee, the work took 24 hours a day," Kim was quoted as saying.

"I thought that the position of vice-president would be approximately the same: I’ll get a certain area of work with reporting and responsibilities.

"But under the new President we are responsible for everything and for nothing, and the President relies more on the office apparatus than on the people whom the national federations elected at the Congress."