Billiard sports launched its bid to become part of the Paris 2024 Olympic Sports programme at a special ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Friday.
Hosted by the Billiards 2024 Committee and supported by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) and World Snooker, the event represents a significant milestone billiard sports’ bid for inclusion at the Paris 2024 Games.
Among those present were WPBSA Vice Chairman Nigel Mawer QPM and former world professional snooker champion Shaun Murphy, who joined senior representatives from the Fédération Française de Billard (FFB) and other international organisations to support the bid.
Billiard sports previously applied to join the Olympic programme for the Tokyo 2020 Games and three years on is in a significantly stronger position to be successful as cuesports continue to grow globally.
The first step to securing Olympic status for 2024 was taken earlier this year by the World Confederation of Billiard Sports (WCBS), the umbrella organisation representing snooker, billiards and carom, when the formal submission for billiard sports to be included as an additional sport at the Paris Games was made with the full cooperation of the FFB.
Snooker in particular has a proven track record of staging high-quality international events with the World Snooker Tour now comprising 27 major tournaments around the world, with a television reach of 1.6 billion homes.
The sport is played in approximately 100 countries with players from across the globe regularly participating.
The sport is strongly represented at both professional and amateur levels and under the guidance of former WCBS President Jason Ferguson and former General Secretary Maxime Cassis, was successfully included at the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw at which leading professional Kyren Wilson of England won the prestigious gold medal.
Snooker’s International Federation the World Snooker Federation (WSF) has since brought together professional and amateur bodies, including women’s and disability organisations, providing opportunities for all to compete on the same field of play.
WSF President Jason Ferguson said: “Today represents an important landmark in what is a serious bid for the inclusion of billiard sports at the Paris 2024 Games.
“With the levels of participation in our great sport consistently increasing and new opportunities being created by the WSF and its partners for people across the globe to be able to pick up a cue, the sport has never been in a stronger position to take its rightful place on the Olympic programme.”
Following today’s announcement of the bid, next year will see a further demonstration event staged in Paris which will showcase the Olympic values of billiard sports.