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Gymnastics adds obstacle-course events

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015 - Newport Stopover

NEWPORT, RI - MAY 13: In this handout image provided by the Volvo Ocean Race, Red Bull Athletes and Professional Freerunners Jason Paul and Pavel Petkuns ran, jumped and showed-off their amazing acrobatic skills around the Race Village and the Team Brunel and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing boats to celebrate the Volvo Ocean Race sixth stopover at Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island during the stopover ahead of Leg 7 from Newport to Lisbon on May 13, 2015 in Newport, Rhodes Island. The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 is the 12th running of this ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante in Spain on October 11, 2014, the route, spanning some 39,379 nautical miles, visits 11 ports in eleven countries (Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, New Zealand, Brazil, United States, Portugal, France, The Netherlands and Sweden) over nine months. The Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s premier ocean yacht race for professional racing crews. (Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race via Getty Images)

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The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) approved a new obstacle-course discipline, hoping to introduce a world cup series in 2018, a world championships in 2020 and, possibly, Olympic inclusion.

While the discipline has not been officially named, the FIG partnered with an international parkour group for its creation. The unnamed discipline’s two planned events compare favorably to parkour, while adding a competitive aspect:
- “Obstacle Course Sprint,” an against-the-clock format.

- “Obstacle Course Freestyle” based on performances that will be judged.

“The courses for these competitions, while mainly artificial, are based on real-world shapes found in urban and natural environments,” the FIG said in a press release.

FIG would not confirm or deny an earlier report that it proposed parkour for 2020 Olympic inclusion.

The gymnastics federation already holds world championships for other disciplines that are not in the Olympics, including acrobatic and aerobic gymnastics.

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