Olympic Inclusion:

Roller Sports Fails to Win Spot in 2012 Olympic Games

IOC Cuts Two Sports But Turns Its Nose Up at Replacement Candidates

By Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

It's going to take some time to figure out exactly what happened in Singapore today ... why the International Olympic Committee cut two sports from the roster and then decided not to fill the empty slots?

But first, we will have to wait and see what happens tomorrow, the last day of the IOC session.

Reports (rumors?) are circulating on the Internet that the IOC's Executive Board may try to persuade members to revisit the issue of new sports.

If so, roller sport might get another chance.

What makes this possible -- although doubtful -- is that IOC members appear to be dissatisfied with today's results.

"Nobody was happy with the outcome in the morning, nobody was happy with the result of the afternoon, and we've lost two sports and done nothing to replace them," senior Canadian IOC member Dick Pound told the Associated Press.

The day started out looking good for supporters of the potential replacement sports: golf, rugby, squash, karate and roller sports.

In the morning, IOC members surprised pundits by voting to oust two sports -- baseball and softball -- from the 2012 Olympic program.

That left two openings on the roster.

The IOC Executive Board nominated two replacements -- squash and karate -- from the list of candidate sports. (The board apparently decided against roller sports, rugby or golf.)

But when the General Assembly reconvened in the afternoon, members overwhelmingly rejected the nominations.

They voted against squash by a margin of 63 to 39 and against karate by a margin of 63 to 38.

A two-thirds majority was required for a new sport to win a berth in the Games. But neither sport was able to muster a simple majority.

The result of all this is that, barring another surprise, the Summer roster shrinks from 28 to 26 sports.

"Of course, I am disappointed with the decision," said Valerie Leftwich, first vice-president of the International Roller Sports Federation.

"But not all is lost, is it? I am not sure when the the next Olympic sports review will be, but let's hope it provides better news."

The IOC has a process for reviewing the Olympic program every four years. But only this year did IOC president Jacques Rogge prod members into conducting a review.

He is promising another review in four years to polish the program for the 2016 Summer Games.

(posted on July 8, 2005)




Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson

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