Paris 2024

Breaking news: it's on for Paris 2024

Breaking news: it's on for Paris 2024

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — As expected, the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday gave approval to four sports to join the Paris 2024 program: surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing and, quelle horreur for traditionalists, breakdancing, or in IOC jargon, breaking.

“More youth, more urban, more women,” Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet said of the organizing committee’s goals for its program — the four sports a one-time add not guaranteed to be listed as part of the so-called “core” Olympic program. 

Surf, skate and climbing will feature at Tokyo 2020, along with karate and baseball/softball. Breakdance made a breakthrough at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. 

Cue the Vangelis: cross-country for Paris 2024

Cue the Vangelis: cross-country for Paris 2024

Yes, yes, yes, Chariots of Fire, the 1981 movie that won four Oscars in telling the story of track and field at the 1924 Paris Olympics, is all about the sprints, not cross-country. 

OK, OK, OK, Chariots of Fire is about the Olympics but something bigger. It’s a story about British athletes at those 1924 Paris Olympics, one who is a devout Scottish Christian running for the glory of God, the other an English Jew and what it takes to overcome prejudice.

People, we need not quibble here with details. 

When people think about Paris and the 1924 Olympics, what do they think of? The iconic beach running scenes from the movie, right? The sunlight! The sand! The sea foam! Especially since Mr. Bean — Rowan Atkinson — had great fun with the whole thing during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games.

Those beach scenes are, more or less, kinda-sorta, cross-country running. Good enough, anyway. At least for this point: 

The 2024 Games will be 100 years since the Games were last in Paris. As things happen, those 1924 Games were also the last time cross-county was on the Olympic program.

Paris 2024 organizers want cross-country back. So does track and field’s world governing body, the IAAF. 

Breaking: not bad, all good for 2024

Breaking: not bad, all good for 2024

For many people, the announcement Thursday that Paris 2024 seems set to to include breakdancing as an Olympic sport was met with — say what?

No, for real. 

Let’s get real. 

If you are complaining that “breaking,” as it’s called in Olympic jargon, doesn’t belong on the Summer Games program but you swoon every Winter Games when the ice dancers do their luscious thing — come on.

Beyond that, and finally — the French finally did something right. 

Let’s give credit where it’s due: the French got this totally right.