— Published 17 October 2023

A digital challenge for urban sports

Appearances are deceptive. The choice of Los Angeles 2028 for its additional sports – baseball/softball, lacrosse, flag soccer, cricket and squash – suggests this, with the abandonment of breaking, but the IOC is not backing down on urban sports. Proof of this is its latest initiative, a digital competition called Let’s Move Street Challenge, launched in collaboration with Samsung, one of the IOC’s global partners in the TOP program. Specialists in BMX freestyle, breaking and skateboarding are invited to make a 30-second video of their best performance, then upload it to the IOC website, Olympics.com. At stake: the title of Let’s Move Street Challenge champion. And, best of all, an invitation to attend the first edition of the Olympic Qualifying Series, scheduled for May 16-19, 2024 in Shanghai, behind the scenes. The decision will be made by a mixed jury, comprising an expert from each of the three disciplines and the public. Kit McConnell, IOC Sports Director, explained to FrancsJeux: “The aim of this challenge is to celebrate the urban sports community worldwide. BMX freestyle, breaking and skateboarding are individual sports, but they belong to a community. They live digitally. They use social networks to share what they do, their performances and ideas, but also to see what others are doing.” The absence of breaking at the Los Angeles 2028 Games? Anything but a sanction, assures Kit McConnell. “Breaking is going to be extraordinary at the Paris 2024 Games, on the Place de la Concorde, he predicts. There is no criticism within the Olympic movement of its presence as an additional sport. But our rules are flexible. A sport can enter, then leave, then enter again. Baseball/softball is a good example. Present at Tokyo 2020, it was not selected for Paris 2024, but will make its return at Los Angeles in 2028.”