The International Olympics Committee are getting together this week to decide which sport they wish to drop from the 2020 summer games in order to make room for a new sport.
The Huffington Post reports that “modern pentathlon,” Taekwondo, wrestling, badminton and table tennis are all being seriously looked at as possible sports to remove.
For those of you who don’t know, me being one of them, “Modern pentathlon combines fencing, horse riding, swimming, running and shooting – the five skills required of a 19th century cavalry officer.” Modern pentathlon, which was created for the Olympics by French baron Pierre de Coubertin, has been part of the Olympics since the 1912 Stockholm Games, where George S. Patton – the future U.S. Army general – finished fifth.
UIPM President Klaus Schormann told the AP, “”The Olympic movement always needs history. You cannot just say we look only at the future. You can have a future when you are stable on the basic part of history. We are continuing to develop, to renovate, to be innovative and creative.”
The last sports removed by the IOC were Baseball and Softball back in 2005 and the 2016 games in Rio are set for the additions of golf and rugby. While I don’t understand how you can get rid of baseball/softball and later add golf/rugby, I do applaud the IOC for looking at what wasn’t getting a lot of attention and trying to move forward with something new.
I know there are a lot of baseball fans out there but seriously who turns on the Olympics and says “oh, gotta catch that baseball game,” especially people in other countries where baseball isn’t prominent at all. While I’m not saying golf or rugby are going to be any better (as a fan of golf I actually think that’s an awful sport to add to the olympics but that’s just me) I understand the attempt at change which I’m fine with.
According to the Post’s article, “The executive board will review a report from the IOC program commission assessing each of the sports contested at last summer’s London Olympics.”
“The report analyzes more than three dozen criteria, including television ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policy and global participation and popularity. With no official rankings or recommendations contained in the report, the final decision by the 15-member executive board will likely be influenced by political, emotional and sentimental factors.”
Personally, if I had to choose between one of the sports I listed above for potential termination, I’d go with modern pentathlon, It sounds cool but honestly I had never even know that was a sport until I read that article. Wrestling is ok and I think a lot of people actually like watching badminton and table tennis.
I’ll be interested in seeing who gets the axe and what sports will be considered for inclusion as part of the Olympic games. One thing is for sure, we still have a long ways to go before our next Summer games come about in 2016.