What Is Inline Skating Doing In the World Games?
... Trying to Get Into the Olympics!
The World Games have been called the wanabe Olympics. And the description, if unkind, isn't far off the mark.
Consider a few of the sports scheduled for the 2005 World Games: parachuting, tug-of-war, frisbee and dragon boat racing. (No, I am not kidding!)
What Are We Doing Here?
So what is inline racing doing in this kind of company? ... Well, in fact, it is not only fringe sports that have found their way into the 25-year-old World Games. Mainstream sports, including rugby and American football, are also part of the mix.
And believe it or not, a few of the sports that were once in the World Games (taekwondo, baseball, softball and badminton) eventually made it into the Olympics. (Unfortunately, they are all -- with the exception of badminton -- on the verge of being tossed out!)
Anyway, no matter what you think of the sport of korfball (Yeah, it's in there, too!), the World Games are nothing to laugh at (... well, maybe just a little!)
Olympic (inclusion) contenders certainly take the Games seriously. Of the five sports under consideration for Olympic inclusion in 2012, four -- inline skating, rugby, squash and karate -- will be part of the 2005 World Games in Duisburg, Germany. Only golf will not.
Olympic Support for the World Games
Even the International Olympic Committee appears to take the World Games seriously. Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge supports participation in the World Games, according to Roberto Marotta, secretary general of the International Roller Sports Federation (FIRS)
In a memo posted today on the FIRS web site, Marotta says that because of this, skating federations can ask their national Olympic Committees for "technical [and] financial support to take part in the World Games."
In the memo, Marotta also announces the names of the 48 speed skaters (24 men, 24 women) selected for the World Games.
Odd Selection Process?
The FIRS web site says the skaters were "qualified" based on their performance in road races at last summer's World Inline Championships in Italy.
This seems odd because the racing events at the World Games will all be held on a 200 meter oval track. There will be no road races.
So why wasn't the selection based on the results of the track events at last summers' Worlds? ... No explanation was given. But whoever posted the information on the FIRS web site obviously noted the discrepancy because he/she wrote:
"The admission list has been done on the basis of the road championships as just communicated by the CIC [FIRS speed skating committee]; nevertheless, races will be carried out on this 200 mt track."
... And there you have it: The mysterious world of FIRS preparing itself for the wildly eclectic World Games!
(February 1, 2005)
FIRS Pushes for inline racing in the Olympic
Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson