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SBD Global/August 10, 2017/Olympics

Paris 2024 Co-President Says Olympic Program Could Include Esports

Video gamers "could be competing for Olympic medals" by '24, Paris Bid Committee co-President Tony Estanguet said, according to Rob Harris of the AP. The "explosion in popularity" of esports events has "already seen gaming embraced by the Asian Games," and talks will be held about the possibility of it joining the '24 program. It will become a full sport by the '22 edition, "although details of which games will be contested are yet to be provided." Estanguet believes that a "contest of digital prowess should be considered a legitimate sport if the Olympics is to maintain its relevance for new generations of fans." He said, "We have to look at it because we can't say, 'It's not us. It's not about Olympics.' The youth, yes, they are interested in esport and this kind of thing. Let's look at it. Let's meet them. Let's try if we can find some bridges." The '24 program will "start to be shaped" in '19, with a final decision on the addition of sports in Paris to be taken by the IOC after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Estanguet: "There is some time to look at it, to interact, to engage" (AP, 8/9).
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