The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has voted to include rugby sevens and golf in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games programme, after they were added for Rio 2016.
At its congress in Lima, the IOC voted to increase the number of sports from 26 to 28 for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, after seven other sports – including squash, karate, softball, baseball and roller sports – were rejected.
All 28 sports will be retained for the next Olympic Games programme, in a decision that ratified the recommendation of the IOC Executive Board in June.
World Rugby, the global governing body for the sport, has called the decision an “endorsement for rugby sevens”. The sport’s debut in the Olympics saw six action-packed days lauded as the propulsion behind the growth of rugby sevens’ global fan base to over 300 million.
“World Rugby, like the entire global rugby family, is very excited by today’s decision, which represents a major milestone and opportunity for our sport,” said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont. “I would like to thank the IOC President Thomas Bach and the IOC members for placing their continued trust in rugby, and our national member unions, players and passionate fans for making sevens the best it can possibly be.
“We continue to prepare for what promises to be a superb Tokyo 2020, congratulate Paris and look forward to working in full partnership with both organising committees and the IOC to ensure spectacular men’s and women’s Rugby 7s events."
Antony Scanlon, executive director of the International Golf Federation (IGF), which administers Olympic golf, added: “It puts the icing on the cake. We had a great Games and proved that golf has a place in the Olympics. Anecdotally, to those I’ve spoken to here [in Peru] they are very pleased with the competition and the way the athletes embraced the Olympics. The positive messaging from [gold medalists] Justin Rose and Inbee Park, it was all very positive.”
On Wednesday, during the IOC’s 131st Session in Lima, the committee officially awarded the 2024 Olympics to Paris and the 2028 Olympics to Los Angeles. The programme for the 2028 Games is not set to be finalised until after the 2020 Games in Tokyo.