Le padel at the Olympics, where are we?

This is the question that all aficionados have been asking themselves for several years: when the padel will become an Olympic discipline?
And this question has come back more and more in recent weeks following the end of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Recently we learned a few months ago that the padel would be part of the sports present at the European games 2023 in Poland.
The competition will bring together 64 of the best European players from padel who will compete in men, women and mixed categories for five days of competition.
This news is incredible because it is a first step towards new Olympic horizons in the next few years.
But today, concretely, where are we on the subject of the Olympics?

Difficult conditions to fulfill

To become an Olympic it is not enough for a sport to be popular with millions of fans. It's a bit more complicated actually.

In order to receive the Olympic Card, the discipline must meet a whole series of conditions required by the International Olympic Committee and that few sports manage to win, it must be admitted.

One of the most rigid conditions is that of real practice, that is to say in the male category there must be a minimum of 75 countries on 4 continents where this sport is practiced and for women 40 countries on 3 continents.
And all of this, of course, under the control of an international federation.

In addition, it was decreed that the Olympic Games should consist of a maximum of 28 disciplines, 300 events and 10 competitors.

Finally, the sports applying will have to adopt over a period of 7 years the World Anti-Doping Code which governs the world of sport.
To be accepted, candidates must comply with the rule 3 years before the start date of the competition.

What about padel ?

Currently the discipline has between 6 and 12 million practitioners according to sources. There is even talk of 18 million practitioners. But there are no official figures.

It is found in more than 90 countries around the world and to date it has 51 national federations.

Although the sport is becoming more and more popular with the general public, it is still in development and there is still work to be done.

The first thing would be to resolve the differences between institutions which unfortunately do not make it easy for the growth of this discipline.

Indeed between the International Federation of Padel and the European Federation of Padel rivalries are rife and this affects the image of sport.

Let us not forget that we are talking about sport and the economic stakes of some people should not tarnish the soul of a booming sport discipline.

In the eyes of International Olympic Committee, this institutional vagueness between FIP and FEPA could weigh in the balance and delay the validation of the padel in Olympic discipline.

When then?

What is almost certain is that in view of the conditions to be fulfilled and the structural vagueness, there is little chance that the padel becomes an Olympic discipline for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Unfortunately for us, we will still have to wait but this will allow the FIP to solidify the file in order to put all the chances on its side for a possible membership in 2028 in Los Angeles.

Of course these are only assumptions but the trend is rather favorable because the enthusiasm for this sport is no longer to be demonstrated and this will greatly help his nomination.

If we had to conclude on this subject we could say that the padel still has a very good chance of becoming an Olympic sport because it fulfills most of the conditions imposed by the IOC but the question is: when? Case to be continued ...

Published by
Sebastien Carrasco