Paris, France (RTV / NBC News) -- World billiards champions gathered on the Eiffel Tower to lobby the International Olympics Committee to include their sport in the 2024 games to be held in Paris.
Top players of all billiard disciplines such as snooker and trickshot traveled to Paris to attempt to make their dream of competing in the Olympic Games come true. Courtesy: RTV / NBC News Channel
Top players of all billiard disciplines such as snooker and trickshot traveled to Paris to attempt to make their dream of competing in the Olympic Games come true.
Having a sport included in the Olympic Games represents the ultimate recognition for athletes and a bonanza for any sport federation as the increased visibility often translates into higher broadcasting revenue and more members.
The International Olympics Committee has included 42 sports for the next games to be held in Tokyo in 2020.
Shaun Murphy, a Snooker world champion, says, "I think we've got this stage where cue sports in general can no longer avoid being in the Olympics. I think when we are looking at the numbers around the world, the amount of people who watch cue sports, snooker alone goes in 1.6 billion homes around the world. These numbers are big numbers and the amount of people who play cue sports, who take some interest in it, play it casually or watch it with friends or play professionally or good amateurs, these are big, gig numbers."
The newly added sports are baseball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing.
It is generally considered a new discipline is added to the Olympics, when it is widely played around the world, when it is popular and draws viewership, when it is organized around a structured federation and transmits Olympian values.
As gender equality has become a rising concern, billiards enthusiasts believe they have a card to play as the sport is one of the few that let men and women compete with each other.