Seriously, not everything needs to be an Olympic sport

Ash Barty. PHOTO: Supplied

THE 2021 Tokyo Olympic
Games – hopefully – start on the
weekend as much debate continues
as to whether the event
should go ahead at all, even
without spectators.
In this worldwide COVID-19
environment, the coming together
of more than 11,000 athletes,
from 206 nations, to compete in
33 sports, seems somewhat incongruous
in relation to the various
restrictions in place in an attempt
to get on top of this virus.
Five sports – baseball/softball,
karate, skateboarding, surfing, and
sport climbing – are being re-introduced
or included for the first
Putting that issue to one side,
it’s time to face up to a few Olympic
Games realities.
There are only five sports that
have been contested at every
summer Olympics held since its
inception in 1896 – athletics, cycling,
fencing, gymnastics, and
swimming. In my opinion, there
is a number included in this year’s
Games that simply shouldn’t be
I firmly believe that if an Olympic
medal is not the biggest award
in any chosen sport then that sport
should not be included in any
Olympic competition.
For example, there is no way
that a gold medal is, or ever will
be, the greatest award in tennis,
soccer, basketball, or baseball, to
mention a few.
Baseball is a classic example –
in for this year’s Games, it will be
dropped for the 2024 version, and
for very good reasons. There are
only six nations qualified for competition
– Japan, Israel, Mexico,
South Korea, Dominican Republic,
and the US. Wacko!
And, wait for it, the US takes
the competition so seriously that
the Major League Baseball (MLB)
has just recently confirmed to US
baseball that they may only select
players for Tokyo who are not on
any US domestic team 40-man
playing roster. That’s a commentary,
surely, on where the US rates
this Olympic baseball competition.
As for tennis, ask Ash Barty
to rate winning a Grand Slam at
Wimbledon or the French Open
against a gold medal in Tokyo.
So many of the top men’s and
women’s players have pulled out
of the Tokyo competition, she’s almost
a shoo-in. I’ve given thought
to dragging out my Dunlop Volleys
and having a crack myself.
The same can be said for golf.
What a joke – a Tokyo gold medal
or the US Masters?
For many sports, athletics,
swimming, equestrian, fencing,
handball, and field hockey, to
name a few, winning a gold medal
is the ultimate prize, and these are
the sports that should be included
in the Olympics, not sports that
fail to enter their best possible
As for a sport such as “sport
climbing”, I had to google it to
find out what it is! An Olympic
sport? They must be joking.
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