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The Attempted Grobalization of Parkour by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique


Puddle, D. , & Wheaton, B.



The International Journal of the History of Sport

Publication type

Artículo de revista




Parkour, gymnastics, Olympics, action/lifestyle sport, institutionalization, sport governance, grobalization


On December 3rd, 2018, the 82nd Congress of the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), voted to include parkour as the FIG’s 8th gymnastic discipline. Unlike, trampoline and acrobatic gymnastics, which became gymnastic disciplines following the agreed dissolution of their respective federations, parkour’s inclusion followed two years of unilateral and ultra vires development of competitive showcases. Despite athlete participation in FIG-organized parkour competitions, the global parkour community has been largely opposed to parkour under FIG, especially its attempts to include parkour in the Olympic programme. This situation catalyzed the federating of the international federation Parkour Earth. However, all attempts by the global parkour community to halt the FIG’s appropriation of parkour have proved unsuccessful to date. Digital ethnographic work conducted during the controversy and the authors’ experiences as key protagonists in the formation and administration of Parkour Earth highlights the politics, influences, and power struggles between the different stakeholders. With help from Ritzer’s theory of grobalization it is clear that the FIG is attempting to grobalize parkour to grow its power and profits, and the IOC is enabling, and to some extent complicit in this process. This has implications for the parkour community and other long-standing gymnastic disciplines.


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