Process of Elimination and Addition in Olympic Sporting Events
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The Summer and Winter Olympic Games currently maintain 56 events. Since 1896, the games have been modified to collect more profit. Some modifications have included the addition of almost 100 sports since 1980, but also the loss of nearly 20 sporting events since the ancient Olympic times. One sport among this list is softball.
In 1992, baseball was added as an Olympic sport. Considering softball and baseball a pair, softball was added in 1996. Trying to make profit gains, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) observed the amount of the world’s top players that participated in the olympic event of baseball. Because of its insignificant amount of players from major leagues, baseball suffered. The sport was given the boot in 2009. Although players who participated in the softball events were considered the world’s top players, it was still seen as a pair to baseball and was also dropped in 2009.
August 3, 2016, the IOC approved five new sporting events to be added in the 2020 Summer Olympics. Among those five sports, softball and baseball have been added giving the United States hope for more gold medals. Other added sports include karate, skateboarding, sports climbing, and surfing. The decision made by the IOC was greatly encouraged after talk of a goal to attracting younger audiences to the games. IOC President, Thomas Bach, explained it as an opportunity to ‘take sport to the youth’. They are in high hopes that these 5 sports could help do just that.
The process to making these sporting event changes began six years ago after a recommendation was given to the IOC to improve youth development and evolvement in the Olympics. From there, the process of submissions, proposals, votes, and regulations began.
A submission petition establishing the sports criteria and rules is form to present to the IOC. After close examination, the IOC decides what branch or event and competition the sport falls under. One rule the IOC has for the sporting event to be presented is that it must be practiced by at least 75 countries by men and at least 40 by women. This is important for any event in the olympics to keep its value and appeal high to the watchers.
Last, the Olympic Programme Commission determines if the sport is suitable for venues across the world. Most sports that are already part of the Games are checked periodically to make sure the same. Problems in the past have risen with finding venues for some sports in areas that may not accommodate needs. The committee relies heavily on venues already created for other purposes. Decisions are based off of these considerations, including the factors of the media, money, and Olympic costs available. After consideration of all possible problems the sporting event may have by joining the Olympic games, the board decides if it is suitable to enter.