Breaking will join the Olympic programme at Paris 2024 ©Paris 2024

Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet believes the confirmation of the sport programme for the Games in the French capital consolidates "core foundations" including gender equality, youth and "spectacular" new events.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board approved the programme yesterday and ratified Paris 2024's proposal to include skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and breaking as additional sports.

A reduction in athlete places to 10,500 was agreed, while the Games will have an equal number of men and women for the first time.

Estanguet, a triple Olympic champion in canoeing, welcomed the decisions.

"With the sports programme unveiled today by the IOC, Paris 2024 is consolidating the core foundations that its identity is built around," he said.

"Taking a significant step forward for society with, for the first time, the same number of women athletes as men; focusing on creativity and youth, with new sports and spectacular new events; ensuring sound stewardship, with a reduction in the total number of athletes and events on the programme.

"More than ever, the conditions are in place to make Paris 2024 the Games for a new age."

Skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and breaking were proposed as additional sports by Paris 2024 in March last year.

Provisional approval was then granted at the IOC Session last June, with the final decision subject to an 18-month monitoring period.

The sports saw their places on the Paris 2024 programme ratified by the IOC Executive Board yesterday.

World Dance Sport Federation (WDSF) President Shawn Tay said the governing body will ensure breaking's Olympic debut is "unforgettable".

Breaking featured at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympics and the 2019 World Urban Games.

"It is a historic occasion not only for b-boys and b-girls but for all dancers around the world," said Tay.

"The WDSF could not be prouder to have breaking included at Paris 2024, and we thank everyone who helped make it possible: the Executive Board of the IOC, the Paris 2024 organisers, the WDSF staff and, most importantly, the breaking community itself.

"It was a true team effort to get to this moment and we will redouble our efforts in the lead-up to the Olympic Games to make sure the breaking competition at Paris 2024 will be unforgettable."

Breaking competition at Paris 2024 will feature 16 male and female athletes, known as b-boys and b-girls.

Athletes will compete in one against one "battles".

"It is with immense joy and a touch of relief that we welcome this unprecedented decision," said Mounir Biba, a French b-boy and breaking ambassador, who was a judge at Buenos Aires 2018.

"It is a big step forward and a historical moment.

"Starting from nothing 50 years ago, breaking was built on its own but it has now found a family.

"It only remains for us to live up to the honour bestowed upon us, but I am fully confident we will.

"There are many passionate people on the ground around the world doing a tremendous job every day to nurture and preserve the culture of breaking.

"The sporting journey that we are on will only strengthen the position that I have always defended, namely that we are athletes.

"I commend the willingness of the Paris 2024 organisers, the work of the WDSF and the choice of the IOC to include our sport in the Paris Olympic Games."

Sport climbing's medal events will double from two at Tokyo 2020 to four at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images
Sport climbing's medal events will double from two at Tokyo 2020 to four at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

Sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing are due to return for a second consecutive Olympic Games.

Their debut at Tokyo 2020 has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, which has forced the postponement of the Japanese Games to 2021.

Climbing's programme will differ at Paris 2024, with the IOC approving a request to add boulder/lead and speed competitions. 

This will result in sport climbing's medal events doubling to four at Paris 2024, with medals only on offer in Tokyo in the men's and women's combined.

The number of participating athletes will grow to 68 for Paris 2024, representing a significant increase from the 40 who will compete in Tokyo.

"We are grateful to the IOC Executive Board for confirming our inclusion in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games," said Marco Scolaris, International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) President.

"We would also like to thank the Paris 2024 Organising Committee for their constant support. 

"On the IFSC side, this is the result of the hard work done in the last year by those who believed in the dream: the IFSC Executive Board, national federations, athletes, officials and staff.

"We are going through the toughest time in our history due to COVID-19, but we have four intense and challenging years ahead of us.

"We are inspired and motivated.

"Being climbers, the harder the challenge we face, the better we perform."

The urban sports are expected to be based at the Place de la Concorde during the Games.

Surfing competition will take place away from Paris, with organisers instead opting for Tahiti.

The largest island in French Polynesia - an overseas collectivity of France - was selected by the Paris 2024 Executive Board in December as the preferred venue.

Biarritz Pays Basque, Lacanau-Bordeaux Métropole, La Torche and Hossegor-Seignosse-Capbreton had also submitted a bid to host surfing at the Games.

Tahiti is located 15,700 kilometres away from Paris, which is due to be the furthest distance between two Olympic competitions being held as part of the same Games in history.

International Surfing Association President Fernando Aguerre claims the location will provide a great backdrop for surfing competition, while the sport is targeting full inclusion on the programme.

Surfing competition will take place at Teahupo'o in Tahiti ©Paris 2024
Surfing competition will take place at Teahupo'o in Tahiti ©Paris 2024

"Surfing is perfect for the new era of the Games and selecting our sport for the Olympic programme - with Tahiti as the venue - is testimony to Paris 2024's creative and inclusive spirit," he said.

"This decision also aligns with the IOC's wider objective to apply new, innovative approaches to Games hosting.

"We are excited to be part of the Olympic journey to 2024 with the IOC and Paris, and we believe we have generated great momentum now for surfing's long-term, permanent inclusion in the Olympic programme.

"The conditions at Teahupo'o offer an amazing performance wave that will excite athletes and captivate fans.

"Elite surfers - men and women - compete here regularly and are eager to compete for Olympic glory at Teahupo'o.

"With 22 men and 22 women surfers, we are happy to reaffirm our total commitment to gender equality and fair sport.

"We're excited to work in close collaboration with our friends at Paris 2024, and to delivering an event in line with their vision for a truly spectacular Olympic Games.

"With Teahupo'o as the backdrop, we have no doubt the Games will leave a legacy that touches generations for years to come."

Park and street skateboarding events will also feature at the Games in the French capital.

World Skate President Sabatino Aracu said the governing body was proud to be part of a new "urban movement" within the Olympics.

"From Tokyo straight to the heart of Paris, skateboarding is proud to be a part of this new urban movement within the Olympics, and we're excited to see the hard work pay off," Aracu said.

"Especially during these difficult times, we want to thank the athletes and our whole World Skate family for their heart and dedication, as we continue to show the beauty of skateboarding to the world."

The IOC has claimed the urban sport concept has been expanded.

The organisation says the programme will showcase youth-focused events that are inclusive, engaging and can be practised outside conventional arenas.