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Thread: 2020 Tokyo Olympics

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Punch.HeadButt View Post
    It looks like everyone in that pic just received word of wrestling being cut over the PA system.
    read this, looked back at pic, read this again...still laughing.
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  2. #47
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    Really? Wrestling?! One of the defining sports in the Olympic revival and it is not being renewed. Hm.

    Okay, so I've never watched Olymic events and have no interest but it still seems shameful.

    Wushu, I suppose has as much right to international notice as Tae Kwon Do ...but it's embarrassing for "real" martial artists.
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  3. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Syn7 View Post
    If rollerberby or karate pushes out wrestling, I will never watch the Olympics again...!!!

    Sacrificing an ancient sport to accommodate some newschool popular "let's attract the kids" hustle is ridiculous. The olympics were nearing joke status as it was, now this stuff... Boooo....!!!
    politics and money. but at least they are keeping judo.
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  4. #49
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    Wushu and Karate are out...

    ...and Wrestling might be back in.

    Wrestling, baseball-softball could return for 2020 Olympics
    Associated Press
    Posted: 05/29/2013 08:43:17 AM PDT
    Updated: 05/29/2013 08:56:09 AM PDT

    ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Wrestling, squash and baseball-softball made the IOC short list Wednesday for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics.

    Three months after being dropped from the 2020 program, wrestling took a big step toward keeping its Olympic status.

    Eight sports were vying for a single opening in the lineup.

    Eliminated from contention were five sports -- karate, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and the Chinese martial art of wushu.

    The IOC executive board will submit wrestling, squash and baseball-softball to the full IOC assembly for a final decision on Sept. 8 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    "It's a good mix of team sports and individual," IOC vice president Thomas Bach said.

    The decision came after the eight sports federations made closed-door presentations to the IOC executive board.

    Men's baseball and women's softball, which have been off the program since the 2008 Beijing Games, merged into a single federation to improve their chances.

    Squash is bidding for an Olympic spot for a third time.

    Wrestling, with a tradition dating to the ancient Olympics, was surprisingly cut from the list of core sports by the IOC board in February. The decision caused an international outcry and prompted the United States, Russia, Iran and other countries to join forces in a bid to bring the sport back.
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  5. #50
    ah, but the USAWKF and others will still tell people wushu and sanshou are in the Olympics
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  6. #51

    Olympics

    So they are making some major changes these days. Anyone happy with them?

    Wrestling out(not final) and pole dancing in(not final). WTF???

    I'm curious as to what John Wang thinks about that trade since he's personally invested in both.

    For me, it's no contest. I have no issue with pole dancing, but taking away wrestling is absolutely ridiculous. I have yet to hear one person say they are glad wrestling is out. At best, they don't really care either way. Hopefully enough people will come out and support the sport when they have their lil panel in september.

    Does anyone else think that the olympics are compromising too much these days? What's next to go? Sprinting? Crazy. If you want to add current fads to the games, trade them for older fads that have lost favor, but not at the expense of the sports that the whole idea was founded upon.

    Or they can just expand, but then that messes with the bottom line, and we all know that's the true goal here. So sad what it's become.

  7. #52
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    Yeah, eliminating wrestling from the Olympics is plain stupid. Wasn't it one of the very first Olympic sports?

  8. #53
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    I stopped caring about the Olympics. They are too politicized.
    Not worth being involved in from my standpoint until they change out the entire board of the IOC who have drifted so far from the original vision, it's just a money sack getting pilfered at the expense and to the detriment of a lot of athletes.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  9. #54
    Usually I watch, if it's convenient, wrestling and judo as a VERY distant second. And I'll watch random stuff cause it's on. Maybe I'll watch the daily highlights on the evening news. If they take away wrestling, I won't have anything to watch.

    As a kid, not understanding the politics, I loved the olympics. So now it just bums me out.


    Oh, I watch gymnastics too. I know that isn't going anywhere, but it has some dumb fad elements too.
    Last edited by Syn7; 08-14-2013 at 02:00 PM.

  10. #55
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    Don't beleive the hype

    Quote Originally Posted by Syn7 View Post
    Wrestling out(not final) and pole dancing in(not final). WTF???
    If there's one lesson we have learned from Wushu's Olympic bid, it's that most of the news on what's in and what's out is BS. Pole sports jsut benefited from some viral rumor spreading in the wake of their 1st World Championship. Yes, they submitted a petition to the IOC, but anyone can do that. Pole Sports isn't even an IOC International Federation yet, so they have a long way to go before even getting considered as an event.

    That being said, I'd totally watch Olympic pole sports.


    Believe It Or Not, Future Olympic Games Could Actually Feature Pole Dancing As Newest Sport
    August 12, 2013 11:08 pm EDT by Marilee Gallagher

    If you were to ask the International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF) if pole dancing, something most of us know as an activity done in the strip club, should be considered a sport and worthy of consideration in the Olympics, then the answer you would get is a simple yes.

    And not only does the IPSF (which I bet most have never even heard of) think pole dancing, now renamed pole sports, is worthy of inclusion, they are actually pushing for it.

    According to several sources the IPSF, which held the first world championship in 2012, has been doing a lot in the recent months to improve its image and change the nature of how everyday people look at pole dancing. In fact, to eliminate some of that burlesque feeling type of stigma, the IPSF has even changed the name from pole dancing to pole sports.

    As part of their effort to include pole sports in the Olympics, the IPSF has made changes to their rulebook. These are not limited to a professional sporting dress code, the renaming of some of the classic yet suggestive moves and a ban of props such as top hats and canes. Dancing in an overly erotic manner, as well as removing any articles of clothing, is also expressly forbidden.

    Doesn’t quite sound like what you and I might believe pole dancing to be, but that is exactly the point. Because while hearing that pole dancing might be in the Olympics is something that is laughable and almost impossible to believe, the IPSF is taking its reformation project very seriously.

    They want that bid and considering that things such as synchronized swimming, rhythmic gymnastics and ice dancing get to exist in the greatest collection of sporting events in the world, it is not unreasonable to think we might one day be watching pole dancing in the Olympic Games with a cleaned-up image.

    Because after all, while it may not qualify as a sport, no one can deny the athleticism needed to pole dance.

    So get your ones ready, because pole dancing pole sports might be headed toward Olympic glory.
    Gene Ching
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  11. #56
    How about removing table tennis, or diving. Who even likes to sit there and watch that? Ping pong is fun to play, not so much to watch on tv.

  12. #57
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    Aw Jackie...what are you endorsing now?

    Baseball? Softball? You traitor.

    What about Wushu? WHAT ABOUT POLE SPORTS!

    Jackie Chan supports baseball, softball to return to Olympics in 2020
    Nick Zaccardi
    Aug 14, 2013, 2:40 PM EDT

    Baseball and softball have been fighting together to get back into the Olympics, and now they’re getting some help from one of Hollywood’s great fighters.

    Jackie Chan was named a Playball2020 ambassador for the World Baseball Softball Confederation on Tuesday, less than a month before baseball-softball faces an International Olympic Committee vote as to whether it returns for the 2020 Olympic Games.

    “I have noticed that baseball and also softball have been growing globally and attracting boys and girls to come together to play [a sport],” Chan said in a press release. “The two sports teach children teamwork, discipline — about facing challenges and overcoming difficulties.

    “Hence, I support baseball and softball’s inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games and I sincerely wish baseball and softball receive the favorable votes from the IOC members.”

    Baseball-softball, wrestling and squash are the three finalists for one spot in the 2020 Olympic program. The IOC will choose one of the three on Sept. 8 in Buenos Aires. Baseball became a regular Olympic sport beginning in 1992, and softball in 1996. The last Olympics for both sports was 2008.

    Chan, originally from Hong Kong, has Olympic history. He carried the torch before the 2004 Athens Olympics and sang at the Beijing Olympics opening and closing ceremonies in 2008.
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  13. #58
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    Great NYT article

    Now I understand what happened with Wrestling.

    Olympic Wheel of Fortune

    An Al-Ahram International squash championship in Egypt. Squash may have the most to gain from the Olympics, but its bid is now seen as a long shot.
    By DAVID SEGAL
    Published: August 31, 2013

    ONE of the year’s most heated competitions in all of sports will take place in a Hilton hotel conference room in Buenos Aires. But unless any of the participants get a case of the jitters, you won’t see a lot of sweat. You won’t see many athletes, either, or any courts, nets, uniforms or scoreboards.

    Instead, on Sunday, Sept. 8, you’ll see the leaders of three sports federations — wrestling, squash and baseball-softball, which combined last year — presenting finely honed sales pitches to the 104 members of the International Olympic Committee. After each 20-minute spiel, there will be 10 minutes of questions and answers. At some point, the committee members will test their electronic voting equipment with an irrelevant warm-up question. (The group was once asked to choose a favorite of three oceans; the Atlantic won.) Then the members will decide a matter of genuine import: Which of these sports will join the Olympic Games in 2020?

    It will be the culmination of a contest that began two years ago and has cost the finalists millions of dollars. But for the winner, the prize is so big that it’s hard to value. Actually, part of it can be valued. Every sport gets a cut of the money generated by the Games’ broadcast and revenue deals, with each share determined by the sport’s popularity, measured by the number of spectators, television viewers and other factors. The pot to be divvied up for sports in the London Games last year is $520 million.

    More important, the sport gets the global exposure of billions of television and online viewers and a place in the sports pantheon in which countries worldwide invest, simply because the sport is part of the Olympics. Suddenly, there are youth leagues and commercial endorsements. Medals are at stake, and with them a chance to burnish national self-image.

    “The U.S. is a special case because, unlike most countries, it doesn’t have a direct federal government program for sports,” says Michael Payne, the I.O.C.’s former marketing director. “But look at Turkey. It’s currently spending $500 million a year on sports development, and all of that money goes to Olympics-related sports. You’re either at the table or you’re not.”

    In the United States, the imprimatur of the Games means universities pay attention. A few years ago, it was hard to find a college team in women’s beach volleyball. The sport is now an Olympics favorite, and there are about 34 college teams, says Doug Beal, the chief executive of USA Volleyball.

    “It’s impossible to overstate how significant it is to be included in the Olympics,” Mr. Beal says. “Participation has increased by a factor of 100 or 200. We’ve got high-performance camps, a national junior tour. The Olympics drives kids’ interest. They see it on TV, they identify with the medal winners and they want to play that game.”

    This is squash’s third attempt to enter the Olympics, which has capped the total number of sports at 28, and it is the only sport among the finalists that has never been in the Games.

    For squash’s ardent fan base, this is more than a little confounding. Every four years, when synchronized swimming scissor-kicks its way onto the world stage, squash aficionados ask: If that sport is in the disco, how long will squash be stuck behind the velvet rope?

    Not much longer, if Mike Lee has his way. He is chairman of Vero Communications, a sports lobbying consulting firm that is part of a small but growing industry for campaigns like this. Mr. Lee, a onetime political consultant who is based in London, was hired by the World Squash Federation to oversee its Olympic bid. Among Vero’s recent achievements is guiding rugby sevens into the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Squash was one of the sports that rugby sevens bested.

    Working in politics and Olympic sports is not that different, Mr. Lee said. Both need compelling narratives and both need to cater to voters. The squash narrative, as framed by Vero, is all about the game’s global reach, its embrace of innovation and its easy integration into the Games — the event would involve just 64 players from around the world, 32 men and 32 women, in a glass court that could be built anywhere.

    “In the final stage of this, we’re also giving a push to the very salient and important point that squash is the only truly new sport in terms of the Olympic program,” Mr. Lee said. “That will feature significantly in our final presentation in Buenos Aires.”

    What exactly is the Olympics looking for? The I.O.C. has a dauntingly long list of 39 criteria. The sport should offer gender equity (medals to men and women in roughly equal numbers), excellence around the world (as opposed to a few countries) and popularity among fans and sponsors. Ease of broadcasting the sport is another factor, along with the cost of building a place for competition. There is also the vague but all-important “value added,” defined as “value added by the sport to the Olympic Games; value added by the Olympic Games to the sport.”

    Strict rules govern how federations can woo those 104 I.O.C. members, a reaction to the bribery scandal after more than $1 million was spent on wining and dining I.O.C. officials to bring the 2002 Winter Games to Salt Lake City. No gifts. No disparaging the competition. No visiting the homes of I.O.C. members. E-mail and letters are fine. Direct contact is encouraged, so long as it’s at a place like a sporting event.

    Squash would be a truly new Olympic sport, notes the consultant Mike Lee, who is overseeing the World Squash Federation bid.

    The process, in short, is designed for maximum fairness. But that doesn’t mean every federation has an equal chance, at least not this time. Many Olympic watchers see wrestling as the heavy favorite, which on its face might seem strange, given that the I.O.C. executive board essentially booted the sport from the Games in February. For years, the board criticized wrestling as boring and bewildering to viewers and for failing to update its rules and presentation.

    After wrestling showed up on the finalists’ list, many people concluded that the point of this multisport contest had suddenly changed. It was no longer to refresh the Games, as widely believed. It was to give wrestling — which has been linked to the Olympics going back to their birth in 776 B.C. — what a consultant called “the mother of all wake-up calls” — to stun it into modernizing.

    It seems to have worked: after its ouster, wrestling immediately started a major turnaround and charm offensive, overhauling its rules. Squash, which Olympics watchers had regarded as the front-runner for more than a year, is now considered a long shot.

    Then again, I.O.C. voters are hard to pin down. Some people say a surprise verdict in Buenos Aires is still possible.

    “You have 104 free agents here,” said one Olympics consultant who isn’t involved with any of the sports and who requested anonymity for fear of offending decision makers. “They have been known to make multiple commitments, which they can do because the vote is secret. The level of predictability here is lower than any you’ll find in politics.”

    ALL three federations have spent the last few months in a lobbying frenzy. But schmoozing every I.O.C. member is a challenge. They are spread around the globe, and no country has enough of them to form a bloc with any heft. The United States has three votes; Russia has four. There are members in Zimbabwe, Italy, New Zealand, Burundi, China and Oman.

    Representatives from the federations would reveal little about strategy. Mr. Lee even declined to say who would make squash’s presentation in Buenos Aires, and Narayana Ramachandran, president of the World Squash Federation and the sport’s main Olympics ambassador, declined in early August to discuss his travel plans.

    “If people read where I’m going, who I’m meeting, that would reveal strategy,” he said by phone from Chennai, India, where he lives.

    Of the three sports in competition, squash has the most to gain from the Olympics. For the uninitiated, the game is played in a what is basically a large, open-air box, with two competitors hitting a ball against the front wall. You win a point if the ball bounces twice before your opponent can reach it; you lose the point if you hit the ball too low on the front wall and strike what is known as the tin, squash’s answer to the tennis net. Often called chess on legs, the sport requires endurance, strength and a lot of strategizing.

    In the United States, the game is largely an East Coast phenomenon and is regarded as a game for elite prep schools, colleges and clubs. But it’s an everyman’s workout in countries like South Africa and Australia, where courts are found in places that also have bars and dart boards. There are 50,000 courts in 185 countries, according to the World Squash Federation.

    The game is positively obscure compared with its competitors — and, relative to baseball, the pay stinks. The top player in squash last year, Nick Matthew of England, earned $129,592 in prize money, according to ESPN magazine. The average salary for a major-league baseball player that year was $3.2 million.


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  14. #59
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    continued from previous

    Also - see our latest cover story: Wushu Out of the Olympics…Again

    Squash would be even poorer without the energy and money of one man: Ziad al-Turki. A 48-year-old Saudi Arabian whose father runs Atco, a Saudi-based international conglomerate, Mr. al-Turki became a fan of the game as a boy, playing on a court that an uncle had built on his roof. When he was in his late 30s, Mr. al-Turki lived in Connecticut, where the teaching pro at a local club was a retired squash great named Brett Martin. That convinced him that the game was in dire need of help.

    “I couldn’t believe it,” Mr. al-Turki said in a phone interview. “Nobody hit the ball like Brett Martin, and here is this guy, giving lessons for $25 an hour. We became friends, and that’s when I learned that as brilliant as the game of squash is, there was no money in it.”

    In 2005, with the permission of the Professional Squash Association, the game’s pro league, Mr. al-Turki organized a tournament in Saudi Arabia with total prize money of $127,500, about double what some tournaments then offered. A group of players soon asked him to join the P.S.A. board, and he is now the organization’s chairman. He has spent a lot of time and more of his personal fortune than he would care to calculate — “I don’t want to scare myself,” he said — revamping the sport.

    For a tournament in England, he oversaw the construction of a futuristic, inflatable structure that could be built around a portable court, serving as an eye-catching marquee. He also made the action easier to follow on TV and in the stands, bringing in top-of-the-line video cameras and experimenting with different tints for the court’s glass walls. (He settled on a light shade of purple.) He even changed the color of the ball, which is typically black.

    “We went to Dunlop,” the sports equipment maker, “and said, ‘Everybody complains you can’t see the ball on TV,’ ” he recalled. “They made us balls in neon, pink, yellow. It turns out that what looks best is a white ball in a court with purple walls.”

    These alterations have made the game more accessible and lent it a youthful cast. Which has made it more appealing to the Olympics and is a big reason that squash is in the hunt in Buenos Aires. Success there would be the greatest moment in squash’s 140-year history, and the Olympics tournament would instantly become the sport’s most prestigious event. A promotional video for the bid shows the world’s top women’s player, Nicol David of Malaysia, saying, “I would happily trade all six world titles for an Olympic gold medal.”

    IF squash has the most to gain by inclusion in the Games, wrestling has the most to lose by exclusion. Several Olympics experts said exile from the Games would effectively sound a death knell for the sport, entailing not just the loss of Olympic money but also a loss, or drastic reduction, in subsidies to the 177 national wrestling federations, a vast majority of which are financed by governments.

    Wrestling’s journey to the list of finalists began with an act by the I.O.C. executive board that in hindsight looks like that of a furious, passive-aggressive parent. On Feb. 12, the board announced what it called the Olympics’ 25 core sports — and wrestling wasn’t on the list.

    The board had been grumbling about wrestling for years. The sport’s federation refused to evolve, and its arcane rules had left many spectators confused about the basics, like who was winning a match. Other sports have enlivened their events; weight lifting, for instance, now relies on the same sort of tension-filled music once heard during the silences on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” The emphasis is on entertainment, excitement and clarity.

    Wrestling made no concessions to entertainment, and it had other problems. It awarded more medals to men than to women. It also seemed to take for granted its position in the Games. While other sports carefully filled out a long questionnaire detailing why they should continue to be part of the Olympics, wrestling did such a slapdash job that the I.O.C. sent it back for a do-over, said Anita DeFrantz, an I.O.C. member.

    “They didn’t take it seriously,” she said. “One of the questions was, ‘How many continental games does your sport compete in,’ like the Pan Am Games? They put zero. Which isn’t true.”

    The federation didn’t even bother to send anyone to the meeting where the I.O.C. listed the 25 core sports — and eliminated wrestling. Some of wrestling’s leaders learned about the disaster on the news.

    The cavalier attitude went beyond paperwork. A certain amount of schmoozing is expected of representatives from participating sports, many of whom have set up their federations near Lausanne, Switzerland, the I.O.C.’s base. The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles — which somehow translates to the acronym FILA — is based about 20 miles from the I.O.C., but until recently, FILA’s leaders kept to themselves.

    “I talked to a guy at the I.O.C. who said, ‘I’ve worked here for 14 years and I’ve never met one person from FILA,’ ” said Robert Condron, part of a small armada of consultants and public relations specialists brought aboard FILA after wrestling was pushed out of the Games. “The thing with the I.O.C. is recognition and trust. ‘I know you. I trust you.’ That wasn’t there.”

    Four days after the Feb. 12 announcement, Raphael Martinetti, the FILA president, resigned. Wrestling organizations around the world quickly rallied behind Nenad Lalovic, a burly and charismatic Serbian, who became the acting president. He announced changes to the rules almost immediately, all intended to make matches more exciting and easier to follow. (Takedowns, for instance, would be worth two points, making them more valuable than pushing an opponent out of the ring.) The men-to-women ratio in medal opportunities would be improved by eliminating two categories in men’s competition and adding two for women.

    In early March, Mr. Lalovic met with Jacques Rogge, the I.O.C. president, to tell him, in effect: message received.

    “I said to him, ‘I know why we are out, and we don’t blame anybody but ourselves,’ ” Mr. Lalovic recalled, speaking by phone last week from Buenos Aires, where he had just landed. “We were not awake. We were not listening. We were hardheaded and we have to reverse that situation.”

    A budget for a readmission campaign was quickly drawn up, with a ceiling of $2 million, Mr. Lalovic said. He and his staff hired TSE Consulting to develop a strategy and Teneo Holdings, based in New York, to shape wrestling’s presentations. One of the bigger outlays: FILA bankrolled the flights and hotel stays of representatives from 132 countries who traveled to Moscow in May for what was called an Extraordinary Congress, where Mr. Lalovic was formally elected. Simply sending FILA’s entourage of a dozen or so people to Buenos Aires for two weeks will cost, he estimates, more than $100,000.

    “We did all that we could in such a short period,” Mr. Lalovic said. “That was our handicap. The other sports had more time to prepare.”

    In fact, softball and baseball began trying to reclaim their Olympics spots almost as soon as they lost them, after Beijing in 2008. They were dropped for a variety of reasons, I.O.C. members and consultants say, including baseball’s doping problems and the dominance of a few countries. Then there is Major League Baseball’s refusal to alter its season so the best players can go to the Olympics.

    This is a serious impediment because the Games want the highest standard of competition. Undeterred, the leaders of the World Baseball Softball Confederation have been fanning out around the world. In a recent visit to New York, three sat in a conference room with a reporter at a downtown law firm to explain their case. The group included a surprise: a son of Fidel Castro, Antonio, who works for the World Baseball Softball Confederation. A tan, 40-ish man in a dark suit, he looked more like an international banker than his fatigues-wearing father.

    “We don’t see this as an issue at all,” Mr. Castro said when asked about baseball’s Major League problem. The reason, it seems, is that if baseball returned, it would happen seven years from now. “We have a long time to find a realistic solution,” he said.

    THE time may well be much longer than seven years, given wrestling’s status as the odds-on favorite. But the inclusion of wrestling has caused much head-scratching, even among Olympic higher-ups.

    The former executive board member Denis Oswald, an I.O.C. voter and a candidate to replace the current I.O.C. president, told reporters in June that there were “other ways to warn” wrestling that it needed to shape up. Several consultants, and some fans, have described the process as “ludicrous,” given that the original point of this expensive exercise was to bring new blood into the Games.

    “I think a lot of people will conclude that this whole thing was a charade,” said Brett Erasmus, author of Brett’s Squash Blog, which has a widget on its front page counting down the seconds until the vote in Buenos Aires. “I’m sure a lot of other sports would conclude the same thing. It is disheartening. You get the sense that we will never have a chance, no matter what we do.”

    Mr. Payne, the former Olympics marketing director, thinks that squash’s and baseball-softball’s most likely paths to the Games will come with the election of a new I.O.C. president. That vote is Sept. 10, and Mr. Payne expects that the winner will be less wedded to the current cap of 28 sports in the Games.

    Perhaps that president would fast-track the entry of a new sport in a tighter window than the seven years it typically takes. Otherwise, the Olympics roster in 2020 won’t offer anything that could be called new. Unless you count a spiffed-up version of a sport first seen at the Games 2,800 years ago.
    Gene Ching
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  15. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
    It will be a tough battle to go against baseball, but I hope wushu wins.

    I think with the inclusion of Sanda into the olympics, you will see a heavy increase in interest of Chinese Martial Arts. Especially in terms of people wanting to compete and fight at an olympic level. The inclusion of Sanda will also let the world see what CMA has to offer the martial arts world in terms of full contact applicability.
    Baseball seriously? a sport based in 1 country? maybe 2 or 3 but...

    What's next 'Chase the cheese down the hill'?

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