When will padel become an Olympic sport?
Padel is the world’s fastest-growing sport according to the Mirror. Padel is also the second biggest sport in Spain.
World stars from football like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and tennis players like Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are investing money in padel. As a result, new padel courts are being built all over the world, and the sport is exploding.
People ask the question. Will padel become an Olympic sport?
Which sports make it to the Olympics?
The Olympic games have a core of 32 sports. Seven sports in the winter games and 25 sports in the summer games. In the summer games, three other sports have the chance to make it to the games. Hence, the maximum number of sports in the summer games is 28.
For each sport, different disciplines and branches can occur. For example, Snowboard is a discipline in Alpine sports, and in Snowboard, there are branches of Snowboardcross and halfpipe.
How can padel grow so fast
For padel to become an Olympic sport, the sport has to continue to grow with more players in more countries. There are several indicators that padel will continue to grow worldwide.
1. Tennis Associations are investing in padel
Since tennis associations in France and Italy started to promote padel, padel courts have grown in number from 50-60 courts to over 500 courts in a short period. If tennis associations in other countries embrace the same strategy, padel will continue to grow at a rapid pace, especially in countries with great tennis traditions.
2. Big investments in the sport
Money is flowing to padel right now. Investors make money from investing in padel courts, gears, tournaments, and sponsorships. More money means more significant possibilities for the sport to grow.
3. Large target group
People of all ages play padel, and it does not have to be an expensive sport. The number of potential padel players is enormous.
Criteria for padel to become an Olympic sport
The next possible Olympic games for padel is Paris 2024.
The International Olympic Committee has specific criteria for bringing new sports to the Olympics, which are to be found in the Olympic regulations.
The sport has to be played by men in at least 75 countries on four continents, and by women in at least 40 countries on three continents.
Public padel courts are available in 57 countries right now (Statista 2019). Hence, more countries have to build padel courts before it can become an Olympic sport (75 countries).
The next step in the selection process is that the sport has to show the added value it brings to the Olympic games. Sports are evaluated in nine categories, for example, history, tradition, popularity, economy, openness, and justice. Padel is strong in some of these categories, but the padel tradition, for example, is only strong in a few countries.
Padel Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
The international padel association and the Japanese padel association had meetings about offering padel as an exhibition sport in the Olympic games in Japan 2020.
There are plans for building padel courts so that athletes can play padel for relaxation and fun during the Olympics. That would be great marketing for the sport.
If Japan decides to build the padel courts, the courts will later become available for the public in the country.
Padel Olympic Games Paris 2024
Luigi Carraro, president of the international padel association, met with Raffaele Pagnozzi, general director for the European Olympic committee in the summer of 2019.
The agenda of the meeting was the possibility to include padel in the pre-Olympic games in Krakow 2023. That would be an excellent opportunity for padel to gain international affirmation.
Padel Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028
The Olympic Games 2028 will be held in Los Angeles. It would be an excellent time for padel to enter the Olympics.
To summarize, the international padel association is working hard to make padel a sport for the Olympic games. It will probably take time. Since the sport is not meeting all the criteria set out by the Olympic committee, there is still a lot of work to do.
If padel continues to grow, the Olympics in Los Angeles 2028 might be a realistic first tournament. Several countries are working hard to making it happen.