More than 500 athletes performed a display of unity at the European Karate Championships in Guadalajara to ask Paris 2024 and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to include their game on the Olympic Games inside the French capital. During the Opening Ceremony, athletes wore t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase “Karate Olympic Sport” as part of a broader campaign launched by the World Karate Federation (WKF) to get karate into the 2024 Olympic Games. “This event is a milestone within the history of European Karate,” WKF President Antonio Espinós said. “First of all, it is a leap forward in the direction of Tokyo 2020, and it is the primary qualification match for the European Games.
“Besides, it gives us the possibility to illustrate that we are all collectively in our goal of attaining inclusion in Paris 2024.” Karate will characteristic at Tokyo 2020 subsequent year in which the game will make its Olympic debut. However, it has no longer been chosen for the Paris Games. Instead, the Organising Committee decided on sport mountaineering, skateboarding, and browsing – all a part of the Tokyo 2020 program – along, controversially, breakdancing. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) also left karate out while it proposed the same 4 sports for inclusion after its Executive Board meeting this week.
Provisional approval should then be granted on the IOC Session in Lausanne in June, earlier than Executive Board affirmation in December 2020. Having not been selected via Paris 2024, karate’s inclusion in the Games isn’t always likely, but the WKF refuses to give up on its aim. “With this demonstration of team spirit, with our many values, with our excellence in event business enterprise and in governance, and with our extraordinary recognition all over the globe, we prove we should stay an Olympic sport,” Espinós said. “Karate is an Olympic sport.”
Earlier this month, Espinós held talks with Paris 2024 organizers, observed via Francis Didier, President of the French Karate Federation (FFK), and Toshi Nagura, secretary-general of the WKF. According to the FFK, the meeting aimed to persuade the Paris 2024 Organising Committee that karate must be protected. Back at the European Championships, all 564 athletes wore white Olympic t-shirts. A “belt of hope” movement become also released, with every karateka wearing a multi-colored belt presenting the colors of the Olympic jewelry in the course of their bouts. It all comes alongside online campaigns, #Karate2024 and #TsukiForKarate, which the WKF says has mobilized “masses of karate fans” internationally.