June 15, 2009

Seven sports vie to join Olympic Games

Officials from seven sports, including baseball and golf, gave arguments Monday to an International Olympic Committee panel for inclusion in the 2016 Games.

The IOC's Executive Board heard from representatives of baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby, softball and squash as to why they should either be reinstated as or become Olympic sports.

The board in August is to recommend two sports to be added to the 28-sport schedule for the 2016 Games. The IOC will decide in October whether to accept the recommendations.

At the same meeting, the IOC will vote on the 2016 host city. Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janiero and Tokyo are the finalists.

All seven sports made interesting and informative presentations. All have something to offer. In the end, the decision will come down to which are the best fit for the Olympic program, IOC President Jacques Rogge said Monday.

The IOC has established 33 criteria, with an emphasis on universality, popularity and image, for sports to be considered for the Olympics.

Baseball and softball were contested in the Olympics from 1996-2008 while golf appeared in the 1900 and 1904 Games and rugby in 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924. The other sports would be making their first Olympic appearances.