Wushu Included in Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games
On January 8, 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that wushu will be included in the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games. This will be the first time that wushu has been included in the YOG sports programme. So far, in addition to the original 28 major events, the Dakar Youth Olympic Games in 2026 will add a total of 7 events including wushu.
This is a tremendous milestone in the development of wushu, and the positive outcome is the result of the hard work, longtime efforts and substantial global promotions of the IWUF and its 155 members over the past 30 years.
Wushu is now included in the next YOG as an official sport for several reasons:
- Wushu is popular among young athletes. It offers gender equality in competition, uncomplicated requirements for fields of play and equipment, and sustainable development. These characteristics are consistent with the principles, vision and mission of the YOG and the IOC.
- The promotion and popularization of wushu in Africa has been successful and steadily increasing. At present, the IWUF has 39 national federations in the African continent. In recent years, the competitive level of African wushu athletes has steadily improved. At the last two World Junior Wushu Championships in Bulgaria and Brazil athletes from Africa won three gold medals. Wushu is an official event at the All-Africa Youth Games held in 2018.
- The Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing, China in 2022. As the representative of Chinese traditional sports, wushu’s inclusion in the YOG in 2026 creates a positive relationship which will promote the preparation of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.
- Wushu is the treasure of Chinese traditional culture and Chinese civilization for 5,000 years. Wushu’s inclusion into the Olympic Games is a landmark for the globalization of Chinese traditional culture.
It will enhance understanding and friendship among youth from different countries, cultures, and beliefs, help promote understanding, and create cultural exchanges between the East and the West.
The Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games is expected to welcome 48 athletes from all over the world to participate in four events: Men’s Changquan & Gunshu Combined, Men’s Taijiquan & Taiji Fan Combined, Women’s Changquan & Gunshu Combined, Women’s Taijiquan & Taiji Fan Combined.
1990 IWUF founded on October 3rd
1994 IWUF accepted as a GAISF member
2001 IWUF signs WADA agreement
2002 IOC officially recognizes the IWUF during its 113th session
2015 Wushu shortlisted as an Additional Sport for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games
Widely Expanding Championships:
The IWUF’s group of official world championships, held biennially, include:
World Wushu Championships (WWC)
World Junior Wushu Championships (WJWC)
World Kungfu Championships (WKFC)
World Taijiquan Championships (WTC)
Sanda World Cup (SWC)
Taolu World Cup (TWC)
Wushu in Multi-sport Games:
Since IWUF’s inauguration in 1990, wushu has successfully been included as a competition or exhibition sport in multi-sport games, including:
2009, 2013 World Games
World Combat Games
2017, 2021 Summer Universiade
2018, 2020 World University Championships
2018 African Youth Games
Islamic Solidarity Games
Asia Pacific Masters Games
2019 Chungju World Martial Arts Masterships
ISF Gymnasiade – School Summer Games 2020
The IWUF also supports wushu’s inclusion in:
Pan American Games
Wushu and the Olympics
In 2001, the IWUF first applied for wushu’s inclusion in the Olympic Games.
In the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games, the IWUF was approved by the International Olympic Committee to hold the “Beijing 2008 Wushu Competition” and “Nanjing 2014 Wushu Competition” in accordance with the Olympic model and standards, as cultural programs. Members of the International Olympic Committee including Presidents Mr. Rogge and Mr. Bach went to the stadium to watch wushu competitions and award medals. Wushu was also the only awarding ceremony by Mr. Bach at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games. Through the promotion of the Beijing Olympic Games and Nanjing Olympic Games, the image and international recognition of wushu has been greatly improved.
The International Wushu Federation applies to the International Olympic Committee to include Wushu in the Olympic Games twice, and ultimately failed for the inclusion of alternative projects.
IWUF for the third time submits an application to the International Olympic Committee for wushu’s inclusion into the Olympics. In July, the IOC Executive Board in Durban, South Africa makes a decision to list wushu as one of eight candidates for the 2020 Olympic Games project. At the 2012 IOC Executive Board, wushu’s inclusion went into the third round of voting, and ultimately was not accepted.
In 2015, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Organizing Committee announced the shortlist of new projects; wushu ranked as one of the eight candidates for the project. In the end, it missed inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
However, after three applications, the International Wushu Federation gained valuable experience regarding wushu’s bidding procedures and technical aspects for future Olympic bids.
The recent IOC Executive Board meeting in December 2019 voted on the Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic project settings. In addition to the 28 permanent and five major items of new projects, the Board continued to evaluate the wushu’s inclusion into the Dakar Youth Olympic Games, and slated further discussion to continue January 8, 2020 in the IOC Executive Committee.
January 8, 2020
Wushu is included as an official event in the Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games.
Wushu, Looking Ahead
In the future, the IWUF will continue to actively reform, further improve the rules and standards, and make wushu competitions “faster, higher, and stronger,” further increase popularization and promotion, develop more member countries and regions, and make wushu a healthy and happy lifestyle for everyone.
In 2022, what kind of spark will Wushu and Africa have? Let us wait and see!