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UCI renews bid to include skateboarding in Olympics

Skateboarding
The UCI wants to see skateboarding at future Olympics

By Ollie Williams
BBC Sport in Apeldoorn

Cycling world governing body the UCI has confirmed it is once again seeking to include skateboarding as one of its disciplines at a future Olympic Games.

Though an unlikely partnership, the UCI believes it is best-placed to introduce skateboarding to the Games.

"We're discussing bringing in BMX freestyle and even skateboarding," UCI president Pat McQuaid told BBC Sport.

The UCI attempted to include skateboarding at London 2012 but those plans fell through in late 2007.

At the time, a lack of support for the idea from within the organisation - dominated by members of the traditional cycling disciplines - and hesitation over Olympic participation from some skateboarders were blamed.

But with the advent of the newly formed Youth Olympic movement, the UCI has returned to its plans and is lining up several fresh disciplines for inclusion at future youth or elite Olympic Games, in an attempt to hold the attention of younger generations.

"The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognise they need to have events in the Olympic programme that bring kids into sport," said McQuaid.

"BMX came into the Games in Beijing for the first time and was a spectacular success - we've shown that to the IOC members and the reaction from the media was superb.

They're all related to wheels, they're all related to bikes as such, and from that point of view cycling is the sport that can bring those disciplines in

Pat McQuaid

"Discussions [related to BMX freestyle and skateboarding] are ongoing. I hope they come to fruition and we see those disciplines in the Olympic Games. It'd be wonderful for young kids to see events they can aim for in the Olympics.

"This is at an early stage and there is quite a lot to discuss, but from initial discussions with [IOC president] Jacques Rogge and others it's very positive."

Cycling and skateboarding may appear to have little in common beyond the use of wheels, but the latter's Olympic bid represents a marriage of convenience.

Skateboarding's chances of becoming an Olympic event benefit greatly from the backing and influence of the UCI, one of Olympic sport's most powerful governing bodies, while the UCI in turn is able to demonstrate its commitment to modernising the Olympic movement.

"They're all related to wheels, they're all related to bikes as such, and from that point of view cycling is the sport that can bring those disciplines in," explained McQuaid.

Roller sports have failed in separate bids for Olympic inclusion at London 2012 and Rio 2016, both spearheaded by the International Roller Sports Federation (FIRS) without the UCI's help.

Skateboarding would not have been included under those plans, which favoured the likes of rollerblading and roller hockey.

In the past, the introduction of new Olympic disciplines has routinely required the elimination of others. However, BBC Sport understands the UCI hopes to introduce skateboarding without losing any other events from its Olympic schedule.



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see also
What makes a good Olympic sport?
13 Aug 09 |  Magazine
Seven sports seek 2016 inclusion
14 Nov 08 |  Olympics


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