Bocce, boules, pétanque: perhaps these words call to mind portly, aging men relaxing with a bit of pastis, shaded from the hot southern European sun. Détrompez-vous! Pétanque is not merely a quaint pass-time, it is a serious sport with a federation that is determined to take it all the way to the Olympics.
Claude Azéma, President of the Confédération Mondiale des Sports de Boules (CMSB) has officially announced pétanque’s bid to become an Olympic sport. He delivered the news on the home turf of one of the sport’s biggest supporters, and the federation’s honorary president, Prince Albert II of Monaco.
“One sport, several disciplines, one candidacy,” is the campaign’s motto, according to Le Figaro. They report that with the official letter on its way to the IOC, Claude Azéma says the next steps are to find, “an outfitter, an event organizer, and an international broadcaster.”
Le Monde noted that the campaign is based on the widespread presence of “boules sports” in 165 countries and supported by 262 federations. Other advantages include its prominent “social role” and its tendency to bring together players from different generations.