Members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), meeting in Buenos Aires, have voted to confirm cycling as one of 25 ‘core sports’ in the Olympic programme.
Tokyo 2020 will be very good for cycling. Obviously, hosting the Games in Japan will be a great boost for the globalisation of cycling, in particular all across Asia.
International Cycling Union (UCI) President Pat McQuaid, an IOC member, has welcomed the decision, saying that it showed the IOC had complete confidence in cycling and its contribution to the Olympic Games.
“Each and every national cycling federation around the world depends on cycling’s position as a ‘core sport’ in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in order to receive funding from their respective governments. Preserving cycling’s position as a core Olympic sport is therefore critical to the development of our sport worldwide,” said McQuaid.
“There have been some calls in recent years for cycling to be dropped from the Olympic programme. I have always stood up strongly for cycling in the face of such proposals.”
During the same session, IOC members also voted to reinstate wrestling on the Olympic programme against two rival sports, baseball-softball and squash.
“When a sport like wrestling, which has been at the heart of the Olympic programme since 708 BC (with one exception in Paris in 1900), faces being dropped from the Olympic programme, it shows that no sport can ever afford to be complacent," said McQuaid.
“One of my proudest achievements as an IOC member has been securing the introduction of BMX as a new discipline in the Olympic programme. It made its Olympic debut at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 and was also a huge success in London last year – as indeed were all of the other disciplines.
“I believe a key priority for the IOC and its new President will be the introduction of new events and disciplines for future Olympic Games that appeal to the modern audience particularly youth. Introducing new youth-friendly disciplines is vital to attracting new young fans – and new Olympic athletes. The introduction of BMX has given young cyclists the world over an opportunity to realise the dream of competing in the Olympic Games."
McQuaid also welcomed the announcement of Tokyo as the host city for the 2020 Olympic Games.
"Tokyo 2020 will be very good for cycling. Obviously, hosting the Games in Japan will be a great boost for the globalisation of cycling, in particular all across Asia.
“Japan has a strong history of cycling, in particular track cycling and the Keirin which originated in Japan and is one of the most spectacular Olympic Track disciplines.
“The facilities Tokyo is putting forward for all of the cycling disciplines are excellent, with the road race starting and finishing in the city centre of Tokyo.”