7 December 2020
Lausanne, Switzerland

World Rowing confirms receipt of the decision of the International Olympic Committee Executive Board on the World Rowing proposal to add the discipline of Coastal Rowing to the event programme of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games and the IOC decision on quotas for the 28 core sports to reduce so that the total athlete quota is 10’500 including the four additional sports to be staged in Paris.

The full press release is found here: https://www.olympic.org/news/gender-equality-and-youth-at-the-heart-of-the-paris-2024-olympic-sports-programme

The IOC communicated this text this evening to World Rowing:

“It should be noted that the IOC Executive Board reviewed the request from World Rowing to change the event programme for Paris 2024 to include the new discipline of Coastal Rowing to replace the Lightweight Rowing events.
The IOC Executive Board praised the strong case put forward by World Rowing regarding the added value of this discipline to the Olympic programme, flexibly adapting to most coastal and open water areas and adding a new accessible development opportunity for island and coastal nations around the world. These strong arguments were indeed the basis for its successful introduction to the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026.
However, in light of the impact of the COVID19 pandemic and the need to reduce costs and complexity for Paris 2024 specifically highlighted by IOC Executive Board, the Commission concluded that no new disciplines could be added across any sport. Therefore, for Paris 2024, the Commission proposed to continue with the existing rowing programme of 14 events.
In view of Los Angeles 2028, the Olympic Programme Commission and the IOC Executive Board highlighted how the beach nature of the Coastal Rowing events could represent a very strong fit with the vision and venue landscape of Los Angeles and, following the definition of the LA2028 Sport Programme due in 2021, look forward to positively considering the inclusion of Coastal Rowing in the event programme for Los Angeles 2028.”

In addition, the decision for the quota of rowing is to reduce by 24 positions, from 526 to 502 athletes.

World Rowing President Jean-Christophe Rolland had the following comment: “Of course, this is disappointing news for all those who are convinced that Coastal Rowing is a clear added value for the Olympic Games and for the sport, in general. But, over the past nine months, it has become clear that there was no tolerance within the budget and the human resource areas for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Organising Committee, and that any new costs or added organisational demands would be challenged. We acknowledge that the world has changed and that France has had a massive impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, in human and economic terms.”

“World Rowing also understands the challenge of the quota across all sports and appreciates that it, along with ten other sports, had to bear the consequences of the decision to add the four sports within the terms of Olympic Charter, i.e., 10’500 athletes. We will find the best way to deal with these 24 places over the next few months.”

“The good news here is that the lightweights get one more Olympic Games, and that there was no reduction in the number of events. Lightweight rowing is a massively popular category of our sport and hopefully this comes as great news to lightweight rowing community all around the world. “

“The second reason for satisfaction is the positive feedback on the proposal for the inclusion of Coastal rowing in the Olympic programme. We do look forward to pursuing the constructive dialogue and the concrete discussions with the IOC and LA2028 to eventually see Coastal rowing events at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028.”

World Rowing will hold a member federation Zoom meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, 8 December 2020 at 13:00 hrs CET for representatives of World Rowing member federations.


Jean-Christophe Rolland, President

Matt Smith, Executive Director