Since Rory McIlroy and I were separated at birth I did some additional research concerning his athletic calling and discovered that golf will be a part of the Rio summer Olympics, for the first time since 1904. (There was controversy concerning whether Rory would represent Ireland or Britain since he’s from Northern Ireland i.e England’s bastard stepson. He chose Ireland. Good man.) So why is golf now an Olympic sport…or…why is ANY sport a part of the Olympics?
I remember watching the London Olympics and seeing BMX biking….fucking fun to watch, especially the wipe outs (shattered dreams usually make for good entertainment), but the Olympics? I always associated BMX biking with punks skipping school and tooling around in parks, less the prestige of an international competition. Here’s the 2008 Olympic BMX medal race:
How come BMX got in but not…cross country running?
(Ehem. Because nobody cares about XC.)
And we’ve all wondered why this is considered a sport:
But…but…but what about winter cross country?
(Ehem…Because nobody cares about XC.)
And why this…
But not this?
Squash was beat out by 7 person rugby for the Rio Olympics. Kind of funny (not ironic) that the announcer compares the dive of the squash player to a rugby play. Notice the kid sleeping in the crowd.
Here’s why…or, more importantly, here’s how:
First step: recognition as a sport by the IOC (International Olympic Committee). The IOC requires that the activity have administration by an international, non-governmental organization that oversees at least one sport.
Second step: once recognized as a sport, the activity must move to International Sports Federation status (IF). This means the activity must adhere to anti-doping practices, maintain rules by Olympic charter (must be practiced by men in 75+ countries and 4 continents, woman 40+ countries and 3 continents, must increase “value and appeal” of games, venue must not cost too much cheese, etc.).
A sport may be recognized by the IOC, but not become a competing event at the games (chess, bowling, etc). (The IOC has a bans on purely ‘‘mind sports” and sports dependent on mechanical propulsion.)
The sport’s IF must file a petition establishing it’s “criteria of credibility.”
IOC may accept either a sport, a discipline, or an event. Triathlon was accepted as a sport in 2000, woman’s wresting as a discipline in 2004, woman’s pole vault as an event in 2008.
When making a decision to accept a sport The IOC makes a very detailed technical analysis to understand the popularity of the sport, the number of players, infrastructure, TV, media, and then finally takes a vote to decide which new sport is welcomed on to the program.
Enter Mike Lee of Verocom (Vero). Sports governing boards often hire communication firms such as Vero to “help better file a petition.” Mike/Vero helped Rio get the Olympics this summer, helped Pyongchang get the Winter Olympics in 2018, and helped seven man rugby get into Rio. These firms ask questions like, “What do you offer to the Olympic experience? What is it your sport will do to enhance the games? How is your sport in line with the spirit and values of the game? And how enthusiastically are you willing to suck Olympic committee bureaucratic dick?”
Starting in 2020 there will be 25 core sports and 3 floating sports. Each subsequent Olympics all sports will be under review and “simple majority voting” (previously it was 2/3) will decide sport changes.
According to a press statement by chairman of the Olympic decision board, William Fakker, baseball and softball were removed after the 2008 Olympics because they “suck donkey ass” and “are equivalent to watching the paint dry on your neighbor’s dog house.”
My big question is…when will THIS sport become a part of the Olympics?:
Because when it does…I’m ready. Bang bang.