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Olympic GamesNovember 13, 2008 – How does one sport or event get voted into the Olympics while another doesn’t?

BMX made it’s debut in Beijing and the International Cycling Federation wants to include a freestyle event for the London games.

But last year, attempts to introduce skateboarding to the London Olympics failed.

The sports for London 2012 have already been decided but there are currently seven sports short-listed for consideration 2016 Summer Games. Only two will be added.

Leaders of baseball and softball, along with five other sports seeking inclusion in the Olympics, will present their cases to the International Olympic Committee in Geneva this week.

Golf, karate, roller sports, rugby and squash officials will also meet the 16-member commission, which will deliver a report to the IOC before the  members vote in October.

Baseball and softball were dropped after the Beijing Games because they didn’t receive enough votes in 2005 to remain on the 2012 program.

To win reinstatement, baseball must show the IOC it can deliver major league players to the Olympics, which is held during the second half of the regular season.

Softball made its debut at the 1996 Atlanta Games and the Americans swept three consecutive Olympic gold medals before losing to Japan in the final in Beijing.

The International Softball Federation has distanced itself from baseball in an attempt to win back its place in the Olympics. The Back Softball campaign is a highly active initiative of the ISF. Both baseball and softball lost inclusion by a single vote in Singapore three years ago.

The case for golf, last played at the Olympics in 1904, will be presented on Friday by the International Golf Federation.

The World Karate Federation, with 180 national federations, hopes the sport’s global appeal will be attractive to the IOC. It proposes awarding 10 gold medals in five classes for men’s and women’s competitions.

The International Federation for Roller Sports proposes road races on city streets, but no rink hockey or skateboarding.

Rugby fell from the Olympic program in 1924 and wants to return with the seven side, shorter version of the game for men and women, rather than the more established 15-side competition.  The sport has been successful at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, and is being added to the Pan-American and African Games schedules.

The World Squash Federation emphasizes its television-friendly, glass-enclosed courts to counter the sport’s reputation as one that struggles to translate the speed of play to viewers and their pledge that the Olympics would be the ultimate prize for any squash player.

The board meets again in June to make recommendations to the full IOC membership. A simple majority is needed for a sport to be voted onto the program.

The IOC also will select the 2016 host city during the Copenhagen session. Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro are the candidates. 

November 13, 2008

Making a case for 2016 Olympics

November 13, 2008 – How does one sport or event get voted into the Olympics while another doesn’t? BMX made it’s debut in Beijing and the […]