Wednesday 12 August 2009

*UPDATED* Olympic Golf in 2016?

We'll find out tomorrow if they make the cut:

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will announce a shortlist of two sports on Thursday and in two months’ time a final vote will decide whether they will be part of the Games programme.

Squash, rugby, softball, baseball, karate, rollersports and golf are bidding to make that shortlist which will be announced during the IOC executive board meeting in Berlin.
My vote is for golf, and here's why:
  • It is a truely international sport. The top 20 men in the world golf rankings represent 10 different countries and 6 continents. The women's game is also very diverse, with the best player hailing from Mexico, and various Asian and European countries being well represented on the LPGA money list.
  • It is a well established sport. It has been played competitively and remained popular for generations.
  • Both men and women compete at a high level and attract viewers.
  • New facilities do not need to be built. Any country that's properous enough to bid for an Olympics game will have a number of championship golf courses available. Aside from facilities for spectators and media, there would be no additional infrastructure cost.
  • It is spectator-friendly
  • It is an individual sport and thus will add fewer competitors to the games than a team sport would, reducing cost and strain on Olympic facilities.
  • It is the only one in the list that I'm any good at, and therefore is the best reflection of true skill, talent and good looks.
If that's not enough to convince you, here are some of the knocks against the other sports:
  • Team sports like rugby, softball and baseball are cumbersome, because a lengthy tournament schedule needs to be set, and a larger number of atheletes need to be accomodated. Team sports are also not consistent with the original Olympic ideal of individual achievement.
  • Rugby and baseball are played primarily by men. As much as I may enjoy a good game of bikini football, I have a hard time seeing women's contact sports being played at a competitive level.
  • Squash is played by accountants, and its not spectator-friendly.
  • Karate is not needed because there are already enough marshal arts represented. Marshal arts do not attract much of an audience, and judging is sometimes subjective. If you are going to add one, you should get rid of another, like Judo.
  • Rollersports? Are you kidding? What, like roller derby, or roller hockey, or X-Treme roller cross? Leave that shit for MTV.
In my humble opinion, the Olympics need to get back to basics, hacking off "sports" where judging is purely subjective, and fringe sports that nobody cares about. (You already know one of the sports that I think should get chopped.) Get the cost down so that hosting the stupid event doesn't bankrupt a country. At the very least, they should implement a one-in-one-out policy where new sports displace old sports, so the total package doesn't grow.

** I have added a poll to the sidebar to see what you think. Which of the 7 sports do you think should be added?

The vote came in and golf made the first cut, (along with rugby). Final selection will be in October.

If golf is in, you will see 60 competitors for each gender. The top 16 in the world rankings get in automatically, plus up to two more per county based on their ranking. Given current rankings Canada would have two men in there (Weir and Ames). No sure about women. Probably none. The PGA spokesdude expects that about 30 countries will be represented for both men and women.

EDIT: it is possible that Ames may choose to play for Trinidad and Tobago. I hope not, but he might. Wouldn't surprise me.


Scott MacNeil said...


Agree, think golf would be good addition. Then again what do I know? I also think darts, chess & paintball would be a good additions.

cherenkov said...

I'm not good at any of those, therefore they must not be real sports. I read that winning at chess is 100% luck and 0% skill.

Anonymous said...

Golf isn't really a sport - Bikini Football gets my vote

Sean said...

Golf would be a great addition also since it has a fairly wide viewership and seems more approachable. Not everyone knows the rules to rugby, but golf is pretty simple.

cherenkov said...

@ Mr.No: unfortunately that isn't on the list.

@Sean: true, plus I just thought of another great reason.

Anonymous said...

As if we need any more sycophantic coverage of Tiger Woods. If he's in a tournament, you hardly know that there are other golfers playing.

cherenkov said...

Anon: perhaps Olympic coverage will be better because each country will have their own media?

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