Which sports are olympics-worthy

The World

The IOC says a sport has to meet several criteria before it can be deemed Olympic caliber. It has to have an appropriate association or governing body. It also has to be popular in a lot of country, and there’s the rub. It’s hard for Americans to imagine how fencing can be as popular as baseball or softball. This ping pong player from Britain has had to answer a lot of questions about his sport’s value in his home country. With time, he developed his own set of criteria by which sports are Olympics-worthy: #1, is it accessible around the world? #2, is it popular around the world? #3, will the Olympics be the ultimate competition for that sport? By those criteria, a lot of sports would not qualify. For soccer, the World Cup is the ultimate competition. This professor debunks popular Olympics myths in a recent article, and he says one of the biggest myths is that the Olympics are apolitical. He cites the addition of regional sports when a city hosts as one such example. He says that’s not the only niche sport with powerful friends on the inside, and synchronized swimming is one such example. Other sports just fall out of fashion with the times, and tug-of-war and polo are such examples. Sometimes sports get dropped and later reinstated, such as with archery and tennis. This American official says he’s trying to get softball back on the Olympic roster, but softball will have a lot of competition, from sports like BMX cycling. All the while, other Olympic hopefuls are lining up, such as bridge and chess. Some argue that the Olympics weren’t always about physical prowess, but this official says the IOC should start by cutting events, like rowing. But like any support, rowing has plenty of supporters as well.

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