Olympic games are always changing. Over the centuries, many sports were added, with others being dropped from the program. For the most part, it is all about popular sports, which displace those no longer contemporary. The decision is made by the IOC (International Olympic Committee).
Changes in the sports program of the Olympic Games
For some time, the IOC has been thinking about removing the shooting sports from the program of the Olympic Games. In biathlon, the hits on the targets should be displayed with lasers.
This idea was bad news for the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), and above all for athletes and sportsmen. The ISSF is the official association and the top organ of the Olympic disciplines in sports shooting. Under its umbrella, the ISSF unites more than 160 national associations such as the German Schützenbund e.V. (DSB).
As early as the middle of 2017, the ISSF announced changes in Olympic shooting to the IOC. The new competition rules are binding until 2020 for all events under the ISSF and, accordingly, also for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. We have already reported about this.
But, of course, the uncertainty persists for the next games. Will shooting remain in a changed form, or will it give way to more popular sports?
Shooting will remain an Olympic sport until 2024
Now there is certainty which gives some relief: at the 131st meeting of the IOC in Lima, it was confirmed that shooting will remain in the program of the 2024 Olympic Games.
In a letter IOC President Thomas Bach thanked ISSF President Olegario Vazquez Raña for the good partnership. The Committee is looking forward to the cooperation for the preparation of the next 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and the common goals for 2024.
The ISSF reiterates in a press release that shooting sport has been part of the modern Olympic Games since the beginning. The IOC could rely on a trusted partner.
Last but not least, the shooting sport owed this decision to success at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Here the popularity of the shooting disciplines was unexpectedly high. Even the German shooters were able to fully convince themselves and were rewarded with a true load of medals.
How are things going on with Olympic shooting?
Although shooting and related Olympic disciplines are traditional sports, ISSF President Olegario Vazquez Raña looks confidently into the future. The introduction of new mixed-team events and further updates of the competition rules is not just intended to achieve gender equality. The shooting sport is thereby also spreading its base. With the changes, new competitive shooting formats have also been created, and this is especially true for an international audience.
So it is clear that shooting will remain in the program until the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. The IOC and the ISSF must now set the framework for the games. This includes the discussion on shooting sports, the number of athletes and the planning of the events. Olegario Vazquez Raña, of course, would like to bring all the Olympic shooting disciplines into the discussion.
We can only hope that we will not have further surprises.