Sport Sporting festivals

Olympic sport selections

Written by James Potter

Staging the Olympics is an expensive logistical nightmare for the Olympic Committee and host city organizers, and for a variety of reasons there is a limit to the number of events offered.

Debate has always raged about which sports should be included in the Olympics. In a perfect world we could include tiddlywinks, but we don’t live in a perfect world.

On what basis are sports accepted or omitted from the Games? Well, unfortunately, there is no solid basis. In fact, I believe it’s high time clear criteria are formulated so that athletes and fans have a better understanding of why certain sports are in, and certain sports are out.

In my opinion, for a sport to be included in the Olympics, the ”holy grail” of that particular sport must be an Olympic gold medal. So two sports which definitely shouldn’t be included are golf and tennis. Don’t try to tell me a golfer would rather a gold medal than a green jacket, or a tennis player would rather a gold medal than a Wimbledon title!

Team sports like basketball and football are problematic. The only reason these two sports are included is their huge fan bases insist on it. As long as sports like water polo and hockey are in the Olympics, then I suppose I can stomach basketball and football being included.

The best thing about the Olympics is that it gives airplay to sports that otherwise enjoy no public support. Superstar players in huge international sports like football, tennis and basketball enjoy fame and fortune. The Olympics should reward those athletes that don’t enjoy either, despite their years of dedication. Personally, I prefer mainstream sports and don’t really care much about fencing, synchronized swimming, shooting or walking. In fact, I would rather watch a car rust than spend an evening watching these sports. Still, I don’t see any harm in allowing these athletes to have a moment in the sun once every four years – then we can get back to the real deal.