IPF (International Parkour Federation) representatives Victor Bevine, David Thompson and WFPF Founding Athlete Ryan Doyle were honored to attend the GAISF Information Day conference and meet with GAISF/Sport-Accord and IOC (International Olympic Committee) representatives in Lausanne, Switzerland on June 15-16, 2017.
IPF was one of forty-eight international sports federations from new or lesser-known sports, who were invited to Lausanne to receive valuable information on how to move their disciplines up the ladder of formal recognition, a process IPF began with GAISF/Sport-Accord in 2014. The day after the conference, each of the federations was invited to a private meeting with various officials. At IPF’s meeting with GAISF/Sport-Accord Membership Chairman Antonio Espinos and IOC representative Mike Joyce, along GAISF’s Michel Filliau, a thorough and open discussion was had regarding the current issues confronting the future of Parkour in the Olympics. These gentlemen illuminated for us the clear structure and requirements for GAISF/Sport-Accord membership and how to chart the best path for Parkour’s progress towards IOC recognition as an independent and autonomous sport. Concerning FIG’s recent attempts to absorb Parkour as a subordinate discipline, we made our position clear that, though we have great respect for FIG as the Federation for Gymnastics, it must not become the governing body for Parkour.
We came away from these meetings feeling encouraged and that WFPF/IPF’s hard work over these many years has not gone unnoticed. One of the main takeaways for us was a reinforcement of our long held belief that people of differing views within Parkour must continue to find ways to come together in the spirit of mutual respect and openness. Anything less provides an opening for organizations like FIG to exploit our differences. IPF shares the GAISF/Sport-Accord/IOC vision of striving together to be an authentic voice for all sport.