Parkour Earth has today issued a letter to the IOC to petition the Executive Board to reject any submission by the FIG to include Parkour on the Olympic programme. A decision which is to be made at the upcoming meeting scheduled for December 7th.
“We are aware that Parkour [Freerunning/Art Du Deplacement] is not currently part of the Olympic programme. However, we are of the understanding that there may be a proposal by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) relating to the inclusion of Parkour to the IOC Executive Board meeting on the 7th December 2020, where the IOC Executive Board are due to assess additional events proposed for Paris 2024.
It is our understanding that a similar proposal for Tokyo 2020 in 2017 was rejected by the IOC Executive Board.
It would be helpful if the IOC could clarify if this was the case and the status of any subsequent proposals by the FIG since that time. Additionally, if the IOC can provide the detail on the official procedure for the proposal of new sports into the Olympic programme, particularly where it pertains to due diligence regarding contested sports.
As you know, parkour has been recognised as a sovereign, distinct, and independent sport in its own right, and as such cannot be considered a discipline of, or subsidiary to, gymnastics or any other sport. Therefore, our sport must and should be established by the international Parkour/Freerunning/Art Du Déplacement community, via a process of federating our NGB’s/National Federations – as per established and recognised international norms, on the established right of self-determination. By virtue of that right, we, not FIG, as an international community freely determine our sporting, social and cultural development.
Parkour Earth’s incorporation was as a result of the clear and demonstrable common unity within the international Parkour community. Parkour Earth, the International Federation for Parkour/Freerunning/Art Du Déplacement – our sport, our community, our culture, our identity – is the International Federation for parkour federated by recognised National Parkour Federations.
As requested by your email dated 18 August 2017, we began communication with FIG, meeting with them in Lausanne in November of that year. Our communications with FIG to date have clearly outlined our significant and legitimate concerns. Unfortunately, FIGs encroachment and misappropriation of our sport continues. As this situation is still currently unresolved, by way of this letter we wish to formally petition the IOC to reject any submission by the FIG to include Parkour on the Olympic programme.
As previously requested, we would like to formally request the following support of the IOC on the basis of the three key recommendations laid out in Youth Perceptions of the Olympic Games: Attitudes Towards Action Sports at the YOG and Olympic Games (2016):
- The IOC to formally recognise that the governance structures of and within our sport (Parkour/Freerunning/Art Du Deplacement) and that our community differ from most traditional sports (including but not limited to FIG/Gymnastics) and those with the most insights and knowledge are not housed within the expected sporting infrastructure (such as FIG or any other existing International Federation) but within our sport and community.
- The IOC to formally work with the International Parkour Community via Parkour Earth as the International Federation (for our sport and by our community), as ‘action-sport specific federations’ (in contrast to fitting within existing International Federations, including FIG, as they do not understand and respect the unique cultural value systems and are not aware of the important issues within our sport and community). While this will involve considerable effort, mentoring and support from the IOC to help us, our sport and community meet the requirements and regulations required of Olympic sports. We feel this approach not only has the best chance of getting ‘buy in’ from the core culture of our sport and community and thus longer-term sustainability of our sport and community within the Olympic Games, but importantly is consistent with the established and ethical principle of solidarity.
- As signalled in the report, it is anticipated that these processes will be complex and political, but much can be learned from this process, by the IOC, our sport/community and the wider international sporting community for future action sport inclusion into and success at the Olympic Games.
Therefore, we would very much welcome a further discussion and/or a meeting with the IOC to discuss the formal request for support from the IOC, on the basis of the three key recommendations, to work with us on the points listed above via Parkour Earth.”