The International Olympic Committee today confirmed cycling as a "high category sport" for the 2016 Olympic Games. The status puts cycling in with basketball, football (soccer), tennis and volleball in category B, which "guarantees it more prestige and a larger share of Olympic revenue than most other sports", according to a UCI press release.
The revenue from the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London for cycling amounted to $22 million out of the total $520m in revenue for all sports. Athletics, previously the only Category A sport, collected more than twice that from London.
The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations directed the IOC to revise the groupings for Olympic sports, and the most major change came at Category A. Athletics will now share its revenue with gymnastics and swimming.
The sports were categorised according to several criteria, including television audience (40%), internet page views (20%), general popularity (15%), spectator ticket requests (10%), press coverage (10%) and the number of national federations involved (5%).
“This is a real boost to our sport worldwide,” said UCI President Pat McQuaid, who is also an IOC member. “Cycling is one of the few sports to have been present at every edition of the summer Olympic Games, and this is further proof that it is now more popular than ever.”
The revenue from the London Games was up 79% when compared with the 2008 Games in Beijing, IOC president Jacques Rogge told the Associated Press.
Three sports will vie for inclusion in the 2020 Games, it was announced today: wrestling has applied to be reinstated, and will compete with baseball and squash for addition to the programme.