The 2024 Paris Olympics will have a maximum cap of 10,500 athletes, the lowest number since Atlanta 1996, announced Wednesday the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach after the meeting of the executive of the organization.
"There will be fewer athletes in Paris than in Rio or Tokyo," stressed Bach at a press conference, after clarifying that this quota will also be applied at the Tokyo Games, but it is not It will include participants in the five new Olympic sports (surfing, climbing, skateboarding, karate, and the returning baseball / softball).
Bach said that this reduction is part of the plans for "simplify" the Olympic Games that will also be implemented in Tokyo in 2021 an appointment that has had to be postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and whose organizing committee presented 200 initiatives this Wednesday to reduce costs and complexity.
From the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, the agency's executive director, Christopher Duby, explained that these simplification proposals range from reducing logistics (for example, replacing parking services with public transport) to removing some previous test events from stadiums.
Since Atlanta 1996 all the Summer Olympics have exceeded 10,000 athletes and those of Rio 2016 are by now the ones with the highest number of participants, 11,238 (6,179 men and 5,059 women).
Last March the IOC announced that for the first time all the countries and territories participating in the Tokyo Olympics must have at least one athlete of each sex on their teams.
In London 2012, it was already achieved that all the teams included at least one woman (even countries that had not done so before, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Brunei), but then there were full teams female minds.
The door is open for athletes to protest against racism
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was open this Wednesday to the possibility that athletes star during the Olympics gestures of protest against racism or in favor of human rights, despite the fact that they have traditionally opposed this type of extra-sport demonstrations.
IOC President Thomas Bach announced at a press conference that The body has shown its support for an initiative by its Athletes Commission "to explore different ways in which athletes can express their support for the principles of the Olympic Charter, also during the Olympic Games."
Bach also He took the opportunity to condemn racism in the name of the IOC and "in the strongest terms", in line with the protests that have taken place throughout the world in recent weeks for the death of the African American Geo Floyd rules at the hands of a police officer in the United States.
"The Olympic Games are a powerful global demonstration against racism and for inclusion," said Bach, who declared that "there will be no peace until the prejudices that now separate the different races are surpassed, and for this there is nothing better than bringing together young people from all countries periodically "at the Games.
At the 1968 Mexico Games the gesture in favor of the rights of African-American population starred on the podium by Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos, with a raised fist wrapped in a black glove. and ordered the suspension of the two athletes and their expulsion from the Olympic Village, although this order was not applied due to the refusal of the Mexican hosts.
The raised fist is no longer habitual as a symbol of protest in the podiums, but in recent years many athletes, mainly in the United States, have adopted the custom of kneeling at medal ceremonies or when playing the national anthem, in protest of racism and police brutality.
The IOC Athletes Commission is chaired by the Zimbabwean Olympic swimming champion Kirsty Coventry and among other members is the Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbaeva.