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This week's column:

With Wrestling Out, Is Inline In?

Feb. 27, 2013




QHi, Bill: With wrestling booted from the Summer Games, do you think our sport (inline skating) has a chance to gain entry to the big show? I hope so! - Dennis from California

Ask the Coach!

Hi, Dennis from California: We were on the inside with a good chance the last time the IOC added sports to the program. In fact, Peter Williams, one of the senior sports commentators in New Zealand, believed inline speed would be one of the two new sports chosen. After all, our sport would have fit nicely with the Olympic motto of "harder, faster, stronger."

But unfortunately, the night before the vote, the IOC president told the members to vote instead for golf and rugby — and they dutifully obliged. So instead of "harder, faster, stronger," we got "fatter, slower, richer."

In recent years, the IOC has made a lot of bad calls, such as adding soccer and tennis to the Games, despite the fact that the top athletes in those sports would not be competing.

Nonetheless, I still hold out hope for roller sports. Inline speed skating certainly rises to the level of the Olympic ideal, and our top athletes would be eager to compete.

In fact, as I'm sure you know, our athletes are so eager to compete in the Games that many of them, especially in the United States, are switching to ice, which has a solid place in the Winter Games.

But here's the bottom line. Our Olympic hopes depend on two things: One, can the IOC put principles above profits; and two, can FIRS, our governing body, do a better job promoting our sport.

Cheers, Bill

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