Ian Anderson, WCBS President during the Press Conference in Paris (November 2018)
February 21 2019 – the OCOG of Paris 2024 announced the four additional sports they have chosen to propose to the IOC, breakdancing, climbing, skateboarding and surfing. The disappointment of WCBS is huge but global results of this campaign are positive, we managed to unite the different branches of billiards under the same banner, international federations, players, manufacturers and media coverage is unprecedented.
We thank “Billiards 2024” the structure in charge of the promotion of Billiards’ bid for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games for their hard work.
We must now move forward and focus on promoting our sport. This begin in 2 weeks with our new competition, World Team Trophy, which will take place in Roissy-en-France with the format that was proposed for the Olympics.
Below the Press release of Billiards 2024
BILLIARDS IN THE OLYMPICS: ONE STEP BACK, TWO STEPS FORWARD
PARIS, 22 February, 2019 – The Organising Committee of the Olympic Games 2024 (OCOG) announced yesterday their proposal of four additional sports to join the 28 already scheduled for the event. These are breakdancing, climbing, skateboarding and surfing.
The IOC will now discuss the proposal before during an Executive Board meeting at theend of march 2019. The IOC session in june will then publish a provisional shortlist, while the final decision is not expected before the end of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
The “Billiards 2024” campaign saw for the first time many key players of our sport unite towards a common goal. Federations representatives, players, industry leaders, media and fans from all over the world, from every billiards disciplines. This union will always remain as a stepping stone in the history of billiards, the starting point of a strong development wave for our sport.
The sudden changes in the bidding milestones schedule (which was shortened by more than a quarter) have let us with only a short time to make the best of our candidacy effort.There is a feeling of unfairness, as our coordinator Jean-Pierre Guiraud shares: “We are of course very surprised with the OCOG decision to blow the final whistle a few months short, but we are proud of our amazing campaign and we plan to build from all the positive wave it has created all across the globe.”
The Billiards 2024 committee congratulates all four OCOG-selected sports, and wishes them the best for their path to a possible inclusion in the 2024 Olympic Games.
If our hope of being one of these additional sports is now very slim, it still exists – until the IOC validates the French authorities proposals. We are already studying ways to take part in the 2024 events in a different way, promoting the sport to the games audience during off-the-stage events, with all of our partners including the mainstream sports supply leader Decathlon.
WCBS General Secretary Diane Wild praised Billiards 2024’s effort: “Our unified sport led a truly great bidding campaign which I hope will trigger a fresh new start for all of our disciplines – already so popular worldwide. This comes as a disappointment, but our goal is now to move ahead and stay united”.
The inaugural World Team Trophy will be held near Paris on the 11th and 12th of March – the first event in history that will see pool, carom and snooker played simultaneously by three team members. The WCBS and all of its members – WPA, UMB, IBSF and WPBSA – came together with the French Federation and the Billiards 2024 committee to present a new format that will pave the way for future Olympic Games bids.
The French Federation, and the Billiards 2024 committee will of course support the Olympic Games 2024 in France and will contribute to the nationwide sports promotion effort leading up to, and during, the event. “We have to help use the current positive flow within our sport. There will always be a before and after “Billiards 2024” says Jean-Paul Sinanian, French Federation President.
We will make sure people see how popular our sport can be, when enjoyed with no distinction by men and women of all generations and all walks of life. We will make it a point to include our inspirational heroes of wheelchair and disabled disciplines, which will further show how well we could be included in both the Olympics and Paralympics events.
Looking ahead to the future, we have high hopes of our possible participation to the Olympic programme. With more media coverage than ever before in all disciplines, bigger competition, and still hundreds of millions of participants around the globe, our sport stands proud.
Next step in our quest for the Olympics: the inaugural “World Team Trophy” in march 2019, followed by the World Games in 2021 in Birmingham, USA. And of course, another bidding campaign in the land where pool was born, where we could take part in the Olympics Games 2028 in Los Angeles!
About Billiards 2024:
Billiards 2024 is the structure in charge of the promotion of Billiards’ bid for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. It is composed of senior members of Billiards’ different managing bodies, as well as players and industry giants.
Our Billiards 2024 committee would like to extend its gratitude to its partners Andy Billiard Cloth, American Poolplayers Association, Aramith, BCA Pool League, Billards Bréton, Bilhares Carrinho, Buffalo Royal Plus Cloth, Cuetec, Cyclop, Decathlon, Diamond Billiard Balls, Diamond Billiard Products, Gabriels, Hainsworth, Hanbat, Imperial USA, Iwan Simonis, Kamui, Longoni, Master Billiard Chalk, Mezz Cues, Poison Cues, Predator, Rasson, Sivissidis Billiards, Tiger, Ultimate Team Gear, Universal, Ventus, Viking, Wiraka, Xing Pai, and Zan Tips for their support in promoting and sharing our efforts.
Billiards 2024 would also like to thank its media providers: Matchroom Multi Sport,
World Snooker, Kozoom, AZ Billiards, Billiards Digest, CueSports International and Touch Magazin.