Pierre Fratter - Associate Director of Olympic Games Strategy and Development

With our friend Bernhard Spahni's help, we had the opportunity last week to check out the venue for the Shanghai stop of the Olympic Qualifier Series. We also spoke with Pierre Fratter-Bardy, the Associate Director of Olympic Games Strategy and Development, about the relationship between skateboarding culture and the Olympics, as well as highlights of the Shanghai event.

🎤: Skateboarding has been in the Olympics and it's an official sport now. We're getting closer and closer to Paris, obviously, and so, so much time has passed since Tokyo. Is there any statistics that you can share with us, whether like skateboarding community's grown or participants or anything like that in official or skateboarding. Does it help Olympic attract more attention from the young generation?

Pierre: Absolutely. First, if we look at the first appearance of skateboarding in the Games in Tokyo, it was a great success, especially on digital media among the younger generation. Beyond the success of the Olympic Games, I think your question relates to the impact on skateboarding. Right? If I look at the athletes, if you take a skater like Rayssa Leal before coming to Tokyo, she had a few hundred thousand followers on social media, after Tokyo, 9 million! So it means that in two days, she became bigger than Tony Hawk on social media. That is the power of the rings. That is the power of the Olympic Games. So this is looking at the athletes perspective. If we look at the industry, we spoke to a few brands, and there is a sporting manufacturer in Italy that was telling us that right after the games, it was impossible to find a skateboard in Italy, sold out. Everybody wanted to try skateboarding after the games in Tokyo. So this is another way of looking at the impact. And maybe the last one is going back to to grassroots level. And we heard, especially in Brazil, that the skateparks were full of young girls after the games. And this is so pleasing to hear, Right? This is a true impact on all the the communities. So yeah, it gives you an idea of the type of impact that the Olympic Games can have on such sport.

🎤: For Shanghai and Budapest, are there any specific reason for these cities to host the the qualifiers?

Pierre: Yes. So two years ago the IOC decided to to launch a new event that is called the Olympic Qualifiers Series. And for the first time, the IOC, in partnership with International Federation, will organize its own qualifiers. So there will be four sports, they all share the same features, the same urban DNA, BMX, freestyle braking, skateboarding and sport climbing. And they will be organized in a single venue, an urban park. It's going to be a very compact event. Thursday, Friday you have the prelims, Saturday, Sunday you have the finals. And we were looking for vibrant cities with an urban setting. So we initiated a dialogue with some interested National Olympic Committees and interested cities. And Shanghai very quickly came with a strong vision, a strong concept that was fully aligned with the vision we had for the the first edition of this event. So there was a very thorough process. We came here for a site inspection to spend some time with the organizing committee. And since day one, we we've been very impressed with the project that has been put forward. So Shanghai and Budapest for us were absolutely natural fit. It's great to start here in such a big and vibrant city, and it's also great to end up in Budapest. Close to Paris will be in Europe a few weeks before Paris, so we are extremely happy and really look forward to this, these two events.

🎤: So are there any differences between Shanghai and the previous events.

Pierre: Well you know the the difference is that this is the final step. So this is actually the ultimate stage on the road to Paris. In terms of points that the athletes will receive here, they will receive the maximum amount of points. So this is where everything will be decided, and at the end of the two stops, the athletes with the highest number of points will secure a quota spot for the Olympic Games in Paris.

🎤: With the qualifiers being in May and it's March already. So what step are we at like two months before the games? As far as like prepare preparedness or site obviously is confirmed, you know, things like that.

Pierre: Well the the IOC came here for three days, to do a very thorough review of all aspects of the the projects. Today is our very last day we had yesterday and the day before, two days of workshops. And in terms of level of preparation, we are very confident, everything is on its way to be ready in two months. The construction will start next week. Right here, right now, we are just ten meters away from the skate bowl park, which will be on the right, and the street park, which will be on the left. Because the best skateboarders, men and women, the very best will be coming. We have full gender parity at the Olympic qualifier series, which means the exact same number of women and same number of men. And it reflects as well the what will happen this summer during the games. So in terms of level of preparation, to go back to your question, very confident with what we've seen from the Shanghai organizing Committee.

🎤: As you mentioned earlier, the impact obviously the games has on, you know, certain sport like skateboarding. And so how important to preserve the cultural side of it.

Pierre: Yeah, I think you bring a fundamental point. And I mentioned that Olympic qualifier series is obviously a qualifier, but this is actually much more than a sporting event. Sport will be merged with art, culture and creativity. And at the same time as the competition will also organize an urban festival, which means that during four days there will be some sports competition and plenty of activities which will reflect the lifestyle of these sports. Which means that the spectator you come here, you can watch the skateboarding competition, but you can also take part in all the activities that will be displayed as part of the urban festival. So it's a completely new Olympic experience. It's going to be very immersive and you can spend the whole day at the park. You can get to see other sports as well. So this is really the uniqueness of that new, that new property. And it's truly, really important that we celebrate the culture of these sports because as I said before, they are more than a sport. They are a lifestyle. So it's about celebrating this lifestyle in all its different forms.

🎤: Will there be any differences between Paris and Tokyo? Obviously, aside from the city, like any changes or will be.

Pierre: There are two ways of looking at it. First, in terms of competition setting, we will be in an incredible venue. I was in Paris last week and the skateboarding competition will take place at the place de la Concorde, which is right in the city center, right in between Champs-Elysees and the Louvre Museum. It's a beautiful open and urban venue and it's going to be mind blowing. The ticketing is sold out. It was sold out instantly. Everybody wanted to get tickets not only for skateboarding, but also for the other sports at place de la Concorde. This is breaking. This is BMX freestyle. This is three on three basketball and the venue will be fantastic. We also had a great venue in Tokyo and as I mentioned before, we want to make the games more youthful and more urban. So we're bringing the sport where people are, where they are in urban settings, in city center and in an area that is very accessible, very open. So this is for the similarity between Tokyo and Paris. The main difference, if you remember in Tokyo there were no spectators because of Covid. So we had an incredible venue, but we couldn't welcome spectators. This time in Paris, it's going to be absolutely full, full, full and the experience will be electrifying. So we are very, very much looking forward to these two weeks in the games. And what you will actually see in Shanghai in two months will be a preview of what you will experience in Paris this summer.

🎤: Shanghai have tickets as well?

Pierre: Yes. Actually, the the Shanghai team will put the tickets on sale next month. So you should be ready. There will be every day, 20,000 people coming to the urban park. And, we've seen the latest venue layouts, venue maps, venue renderings. It looks absolutely stunning. So this is a no miss event for sure.

🎤: Great location in Shanghai. It's beautiful here.

Pierre: We are so happy to be at that venue. We can already feel this urban vibes. You know, there is an existing skate park over there. So we've met with the local riders. And it's great, come to a venue that already has some of these existing facilities. You have some indoor and outdoor venues as well. So we believe this is the perfect backdrop for the inaugural edition of the Olympic Qualifier series.

🎤: There's probably a lot of places that want to host something like this.

Pierre: Many cities are indeed interested to host this type of events. Why? Because first it's compact. We're speaking about four days. Um, it's very central in the city center. The sports are very appealing to the younger generation. And the athletes are also very popular. Some of them are iconic. So indeed, a lot of cities are interested. But our message when we talk to each of them is really for this event to adapt to the city. And it's not the city adapting to us. It's us looking at the specificities, the features of the city and defining together the best value proposition. So here in Shanghai will be in a very urban setting. In the city center in Budapest, one month later in June, will be in the middle of a university campus. different set up, but no doubt that both events will be equally successful.

🎤: Any statistics on how many IOC members started skateboarding?

Pierre: IOC members started skateboarding. Wow, that's a great question. I'm not an IOC member, so I'm not part of the statistics. But being an IOC staff, I'm one. So I'm not there yet to make some tricks. But I must say that just cruising by the lake is already very enjoyable.

🎤: Great to hear. That's it. Thank you for your time. It's a pleasure to meet you. And we hope to see you soon back in Shanghai.

Pierre: Well, the pleasure is shared. hope to see you in May. From May 16th to May 19th at Huangpu Riverside.

上周,借着国际奥委会来到上海考察的机会,我们和国际奥委会奥运会部副部长皮埃尔聊了聊,从场地选择,票务,活动相关信息,保护滑板文化……看看他怎么说。很高兴听到他开始滑板的消息,希望下次能亲眼看到他做 ollie。

🎙️ 滑板已经正式成为奥运会项目三年了,从奥委会的角度来看,你们达到当初对这项运动的预期了吗?


对滑手和社区的影响。拿 Rayssa Leal 举例来说,在去东京之前,她在社交媒体上只有几十万粉丝,在东京之后,她有 900 万粉丝。那时她在社交媒体上的影响力已经超过了 Tony Hawk,这就是奥运五环的力量。



🎙️ 那么为什么今年的比赛多了上海和布达佩斯,在这些城市举办资格赛有什么特殊原因吗?

两年前,国际奥委会决定推出一项新赛事,名为“奥运会资格系列赛” (Olympics Qualifier Series)。这是国际奥委会首次与国际单项体育联合会合作,组织自己的资格赛。






🎙️ 那么,这两站和迪拜,罗马的比赛会有什么不同之处吗?


🎙️ 现在已经 3 月中了,整个赛事准备到哪一步了?



🎙️ 正如你之前提到的,奥运会显然对滑板产生了重大影响。但回到街上,奥运会对保护滑板街头文化的一面,会有哪些动作吗?




🎙️ 巴黎的比赛和东京会有区别吗?




🎙️ 上海预选赛会售票吗?



🎙️ 上海的地理位置很好,这里很美。

是,我们很高兴能来到这,我们已经感受到这种城市氛围了。这里本来就有一个滑板公园。我们这几天也和一些当地滑手,BMX 车手碰面了,感觉很棒。因此,我们更相信这里是首届奥运会资格系列赛的完美场地。

🎙️ 最后,国际奥委会委员开始玩滑板了吗?


🎙️ 哈哈哈听起来不错,感谢你抽时间接受我们采访,希望很快就能在上海再次见到你。

我也很高兴见到你们,希望我们 5 月 16 日至 19 日,黄浦江畔再见。

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *