From the Icarus myth... to Paris
Humans have always dreamed of being able to fly like birds as the ancient Greek myth of Icarus re-minds us. Without any doubt, if the Greeks had been able to realise this dream, skydiving would have been part of the ancient Olympic Games. Again, fascinated by new tech-nologies, and in particular aeronautics, Indoor Skydiving would probably have been included in the first modern games as this sport enables man to fly, with no special equipment, in an up-ward flow of air.
The first ever parachute jump was carried out in Pa-ris by André-Jacques Garnerin on October 22nd 1797. Garnerin jumped from a hot air balloon from an altitude of 680m over Parc Monceau. His student and future wife, Jeanne-Geneviève La Brosse, in 1799 became the first female parachutist.
After water and earth, air, as the Greeks had dreamed, became the third element in which people of all nations could practise sport and achieve top level performances.
Olympic sport in #PARIS2024
To become part of the Olympic Games, a sport must not be elitist and must be widely practised by a number of people from whom top level athletes will emerge.
Indoor Skydiving being accessible to almost anyone from an early age (5 years old in many countries), whether valid or disabled and, depending on the ambition of the athlete, allowing for pro-gression in performance, is perfectly in line with this require-ment. As a leisure sport, it does not require any particular physi-cal condition.
Although a relatively new, this is a fast developing world-wide sport that is already well structured at all levels including compe-tition rules with national and international championships. It is important to highlight one of the key actions initiated, amongst others, by the French Parachute Federation which have allowed disabled to practise this sport. The 1st HandiFly Euro Challenge in 2016 was a major founding step in this direction during which sports people, some very severely disabled, participated from 13 countries and were able to discover Indoor Skydiving.
As a sport, Indoor Skydiving has many specific disciplines such as flying to music, head-on battles between teams, matches, speed, etc. and is perfectly adaptable to an Olympic format.
Indoor Skydiving is spreading like wildfire! Both national and international championships are attracting more and more teams and many countries have expressed their enthusiasm to see this discipline become part of the Olympic Games.
In Bye-Law to Rule 45 of the Olympic Charter, in paragraph 3.1 it is stated “The OCOG of a specific edition of the Olympic games may propose to the IOC the inclusion, for such edition only, of one or more additional events; all deci-sions regulating thereto shall be taken in full compliance with this Rule 45 and its bye-law and with any further specific conditions set forth by the IOC”.
The Paris 2024 Organisation Committee therefore has the opportunity to pro-pose Indoor Skydiving as an additional event to the IOC as part of the 2024 Olympics. This would give recognition to Indoor Skydiving as an Olympic sport.
There are already two wind tunnels in the greater Paris area (Ile de France) that are capable of hosting international competitions and in particular, IFly located inside the Olympic Park.
The French Parachute Federation has sent participants to many European and World Championships but, more importantly, has organised numerous national Championships and World Championships and consequently has more than enough experience to be able to accompany the Organisation Committee to ensure the event is conducted successfully. In advance of the event and with the support of the International Air Sport Federation (FAI) and the Aeroclub de France, the FFP will set up numerous partnerships with other international federations to forward this application in the coming months.