The World Chess Federation (FIDE) announced Tuesday that it has launched a bid to have its sport added to the program at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Claiming that Chess has “genuine global appeal” with 189 national federations and 600 million players, FIDE is proposing that faster forms of chess including the ‘rapid’ and ‘blitz’ formats would be suitable for the Olympics.
Chess was recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a sport in 1999 before it became an exhibition event at the Sydney 2000 Games. A bid for inclusion on the Tokyo 2020 sports program failed.
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich made the announcement at a launch event held in the French Capital that was attended by French Chess Federation President Bachar Kouatly and six-time French chess champion Sophie Milliet.
Chess joins the crowded competition of sports vying for a coveted spot on the Paris 2024 program.
Earlier this month the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) announced it would propose the Trial-E event for the Games, an electric motorcycle competition that is similar in concept to mountain biking.
Officials including FIM Vice President and President of the French Motorcycling Federation (FFM) Jacques Bolle, FIM President Jorge VIEGAS and Director of the FIM Trial Commission and three times Trial World Champion Thierry Michaud met in Paris with the Olympic organizing committee to launch the campaign. Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet received the delegation.
FIM admitted in a statement that securing a spot at the Games “will be a major challenge” among the other sports in the running, but that Trial-E “meets all the IOC’s criteria perfectly.”
Viegas said “we are convinced that the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 represent a unique and historic opportunity to allow Trial-E to become the first motor sport discipline to be part of the Olympic Games.”
“This great premier will be the foundation for a strong relationship that will bring the FIM, the IOC and all the Olympic family closer together for many years to come.”
The Fédération Française de Billard (FFB) and the World Snooker Federation (WSF) in December launched a campaign for snooker to be staged at the Paris Games after failing to be added to the Tokyo 2020 program.
A statement from the Billiards 2024 campaign said billiards “has as a proven track record of staging high-quality international events with the World Snooker Tour now comprising 27 major tournaments around the world, with a television reach of 1.6 billion homes.”
“The sport is played in approximately 100 countries with players from across the globe regularly participating.”
Squash, the fast-paced racquet sport that can easily integrate with many existing venues due to its compact footprint, remains in the running for 2024 after three previously failed campaigns.
Boules Sport, a French version of lawn bowling, is also actively promoting a possible bid for Paris 2024 inclusion.
Five sports that were approved for the Tokyo 2020 program are also expected to try to remain in the mix in 2024. Baseball and softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing were all chosen by Japanese officials for one-time inclusion at those Games, but they’ll have to campaign again if they hope to be staged in Paris.
Estanguet said that his organizing committee will look for sports that “speak to French youth” when it proposes which to include to the IOC for final approval.
Paris 2024 will submit recommendations to the IOC Executive Board at a meeting in Lausanne March 26, and the IOC Session will vote to approve the proposals towards the end of June. The Executive Board will make a final confirmation at its meeting in December 2020.
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.