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Events That Should & Should Not Be in Olympics

Softball-Baseball Should Be in Olympics
(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Every four years we are re-introduced to sports that are forgotten for the next 1439 days. Should some of them really be in the Olympics? 

We’re not dissing on the athletes who compete in these events. They’ve worked hard to earn a place at the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee votes these events in. But some sports have been taken out that make you shake your head. We’re taking a look at some that maybe are not so “Olympic” and some that need to be re-instated.

REMOVED?

  • Racewalking Since 2004, this non-running event has been a part of the games. How is it different than any other track event? Competitors must have one foot on the ground at all times, removing any chance of elevating themselves to any kind of speed. The correct stride of a race-walker is more likely to elicit laughs from a viewer than anything. And yes,  it’s an NCAA event as well.
  • Trampoline While at first glance, this seems Olympic worthy.  With all the jumps, twists, and tumbling, it could be a hair-raising experience to watch. But since this sport made it’s debut in 2000,  the last four Olympic games have failed to spark any kind of interest in the United States, and many other countries. Even casual American observers are more likely to be familiar with archery or shooting competitors than trampoline. Keep it in the backyard!
  • Synchronized Swimming Since 1952 this sport has only been open to women in the Olympics. In England, a team of men have petitioned the IOC to allow the sport to be included in 2016 in Rio. In this event, a group of swimmers cavort in a pool in exact sync with their movements. Ugh.

SPORTS THAT SHOULD BE IN:

  • Baseball & Softball. The two sports, the first to be eliminated from the games since polo was dropped in 1936, were discontinued prior to Beijing. Baseball became a medal sport in 1992, softball in 1996.   The reasoning is varied as to why the IOC (in a secret vote in 2005) dropped the games. The U.S. softball women blame IOC President Jaque Rogge and a conspiracy to get rid of the game because of American dominance. The American women won all three gold medals, never lost a game in Olympic competition, and in 1996 outscored their opponents 51-1. Proponents of the game point out that it’s played in some competitive form in 126 countries, and is easily identifiable to Olympic watchers. Baseball is a similar story, but without the U.S. dominance. Oddly enough, the U.S. has only won one gold medal in the sport. Cuba has two. Some members of the IOC claim it was dropped because of the doping and steroid issues in the MLB, others claim it was because Major League Baseball did not suspend its season to allow players to compete in the games (2000 Olympics). Possibly members of the IOC did not like the dominance of a handful of nations (Cuba, U.S., Japan & Dominican Republic) in the sport. It’s as if they were saying “If we can’t win, we will take your ball away and go home.”

We’re hoping pressure on the IOC will result in softball and baseball being put back in the games. Now, which NBC channel is televising the synchronized trampoline quarterfinal event?

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