During the 123rd International Olympic Committee session in South Africa this week, IOC President Jacques Rogge announced that eight sports, including roller sports and sport climbing, will battle it out for a spot in the 2020 Olympics.
Baseball and softball, two sports removed after the 2008 Games, as well as wakeboard, squash, sport climbing, rollersports, karate and the martial art of wushu, will be evaluated for inclusion in upcoming Games. Twelve sports were initially considered but surfing, dancing, bowling and netball didn’t make the final cut.
A final list will be put to the vote in late 2013 at the IOC session in Buenos Aires but only one sport will be added to the programme.
The IOC, and particularly Rogge, has not been particularly kind to female athletes in the past. Eliminating softball from the Games, a sport played primarily by women, was a huge blow to softball players worldwide. More recently, the IOC refused to let women ski jumpers compete, despite the fact that men’s ski jumping has been part of the Winter Games since its inception. (Note: After a series of court cases and worldwide protests, women ski jumpers will be allowed to compete in the 2012 Games)
The decision to only add ONE sport, and the fact that baseball and softball are considered two different sports is likely to make it extremely difficult for either to be named. Women in Sport International takes a look at the IOC’s short list and the challenge softball faces.
The recent trend in Olympic competition has been to add events that provide high entertainment value and add a youthful appeal to the Games. To that end, the IOC has included men’s and women’s ski slopestyle and snowboard parallel special slalom in the Sochi 2014 winter Games programme. And it’s probably the same reason that bowling isn’t being considered.
Programming the Olympics for maximum TV ratings and ticket sales seems a bit removed from the original intent of the Games. As a sports fan, which events would you like to see added the summer line-up? Softball, baseball, wakeboard, squash, sport climbing, rollersports, karate or wushu?
In other Olympic news, the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games, is being chosen today by a vote. Three candidates applied to host the games: Annecy, France; Munich, Germany; and Pyeongchang, South Korea and the winning city is……(drumroll..)Pyeongchang
dare to dream