Olympic Qualifier Series electrifies athletes and fans in Shanghai

Shanghai, May 19 (IANS): At the end of four action-packed days of world-class competition in an electric atmosphere, created by 45.000 spectators, the first stop of the inaugural Olympic Qualifier Series concluded here on Sunday. The event held at Shanghai Huangpu Riverside brought together 460 athletes in BMX freestyle, breaking, skateboarding, and sport climbing.

They represented 120 national federations across the four sports and were enthusiastically celebrated by their fans, who enjoyed a unique Olympic experience that merged sport with music, art and culture.

IOC President Thomas Bach, who attended the finals in all four sports, praised the efforts of the Shanghai Local Organising Committee:

“Shanghai has given the Olympic Qualifier Series a fantastic start. I can only thank and congratulate Shanghai and the Chinese Olympic Committee on this electrifying event. It went far beyond our expectations. Shanghai has demonstrated once again its reputation as a city of innovation, also about global sports events.”

He went on: “I heard from the athletes how much they enjoyed this unique competition. They had stars in their eyes. You can see here in these young and modern sports a real community. And this is what the Olympic values and the Olympic spirit are about – having this tough competition, but also being friends and respecting each other.”

All the winners of the Shanghai stop were awarded a trophy that was specific to this stop. Given the top three athletes in each competition, the trophy features four columns representing the four sports of the series. Its design includes curves that echo the shapes found in the competition fields and incorporates an abstract skyline and wave shapes symbolising Shanghai.

The Olympic Qualifier Series, a key project under the reforms of the Olympic Agenda 2020+5, represents a significant milestone in the athletes’ journey towards Paris 2024, serving as the ultimate qualification stage for the Games in the four sports.

The OQS employs a points system designed to determine which athletes will secure quota places for Paris 2024. The points earned in Shanghai contribute towards qualification, while the remaining points will be up for grabs at the next stop in Budapest from 20 to 23 June.

The festival-style event brought together the competitions of four young and urban sports and cultural activities in one urban park. They were accompanied by fashion shows and breaking battles, along with sports initiation sessions engaging around 2,000 children in interactive and educational sports activities.

The urban festival featured additional activities provided by Worldwide Olympic Partners and two local partners, enhancing the overall visitor experience. The Olympic Qualifier Series was streamed live globally via Olympics.com and was available on linear TV in 79 territories.

The series now moves to the Ludovika Campus in Budapest, from June 20 to 23, for its final stage, continuing to highlight the athletes’ journey towards Paris 2024.

The IOC is working closely with four international federations – the International Federation of Sport Climbing, the Union Cycliste Internationale, the World DanceSport Federation, and the World Skate – for the delivery of the Olympic Qualifier Series.



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