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View Full Version : Equestrian sport is safe for the coming (few) Olympics



freestyle2music
Aug. 24, 2008, 09:52 PM
In a recent interview with Jacques Rogge (head of the IOC) he made the statement that for the upcoming (few) Olympics only two sports will be removed baseball and softball. One new sport is already selected to fill in these gaps, Golf, so we will see Tiger Woods at the Olympics (?).

EMWalker
Aug. 24, 2008, 10:12 PM
Being somewhat in the know I can say that we have not heard officially if golf will be in the next olympics or not. There are a lot of details to work out between the IOC and golf-powers-that-be. Team format, match play, stroke play, how to select players, scheduling conflicts etc etc.

Tiger would most likely play to win his gold once and that would be enough of that. They already have the Ryder and Presidents Cup where they don't get any money for playing in it. For a majority of the players there is no huge draw for them to run off and play in the Olympics. And the IOC said they would only add it if the best players play. (ie sorry no ammys, who would actually love to play)

So all in all - don't know quite yet.

Foxtrot's
Aug. 25, 2008, 12:36 AM
Sounds like the usual .. getting further and further away from the Olympic ideals. Big business, only pros, etc.

OkLurchers
Aug. 25, 2008, 12:31 PM
Good grief--of all the sports not suited to the Olympics & unnecessary to it--golf has to be number 1. On the other hand, equestrian sports are rooted in the military tradition...historically the base of Olympic sport.
Not to hijack here, but I agree with dumping baseball & softball. Other "sports" that don't belong in the Olympics (IMHO) include rhythmic gymnastics (please!), BMX racing (c'mon--they already have the extreme games), tennis (like golf, tennis has umpteen high $$ tourneys & a worldwide high $$ profile--why do they need the Olympics?). And while I'm griping--why is there pairs diving?? I think too many sports waters down the import of the Olympics.

Foxtrot's
Aug. 25, 2008, 12:42 PM
Baseball/softball has a HUGE following worldwide. Equestrian probably has one of the fewest. Other sports appeal to different people and just because some people do not enjoy certain sports, does not mean that millions of others do not enjoy them either.
But golf - golfers didn't even go to the gym until Tiger set the standard. I love rythmic gymnastics, pairs diving for a start.

ponyjumper4
Aug. 25, 2008, 12:45 PM
I wouldn't mind so much some of those sports if they were actually more of an amateur. BMX does not need to be in the Olympics.

FEIwannabe
Aug. 25, 2008, 01:10 PM
BMX should be in a different olympics, along with skateboarding and street acrobatics. Cool to watch. Not olympic material. Too trendy. Does anyone remember when there was discussion of roller skating (or was it roller dancing?) to be an Olympic sport? How dorky would that look today?
Fads change.
Beach volley should also be in a different olympics, along with parasailing and jetskiing. There's already a sport called volley ball - on a court.

They're all fun to watch, but it just doesn't seem right for them to be in the Olympics.

I know everyone dis-es rhythmic gymnastics. It is corney, but there's something about them that seems like they're a really old sport. I mean I can imagine stuff like that going on in ancient Greece or by the Minoans. And I like that tie to the past - even if it's only in my brain.

Mozart
Aug. 25, 2008, 01:17 PM
Baseball/softball has a HUGE following worldwide.

Yes, I am really quite surprised they are canning baseball/softball. Have not heard the rationale. But so many people play it, not just in N.America. It is cheap to stage, easy to understand, of all the sports on the chopping block I can't imagine why they would can it.

WRT to keeping us in the Olympics, I think FEI has been well served by having aristocracy at the helm for so long. IOC is lousy with aristocratic types, I honestly think that is the only thing keeping us in.

Hong Kong facilities cost 1.2 billion. Not pocket change, for sure.

MHM
Aug. 25, 2008, 01:29 PM
Hong Kong facilities cost 1.2 billion. Not pocket change, for sure.

Will those facilities be used for anything after the Games?

I would think that would be another drawback to adding golf, if they have to build a new course every four years in a different city. Although maybe they could recoup their investment each time by charging regular golfers to play on it afterwards. "I played on the Olympic course!" :lol:

wannabegifted
Aug. 25, 2008, 01:35 PM
yeah, so if they have a huge following, as with tennis and basketball, they have their "BIG DAY" at other places and other competitions.... for most the olympics is as good as it gets for equestrian sports

ponyjumper4
Aug. 25, 2008, 02:24 PM
Yes, I am really quite surprised they are canning baseball/softball. Have not heard the rationale. But so many people play it, not just in N.America. It is cheap to stage, easy to understand, of all the sports on the chopping block I can't imagine why they would can it.



Not sure why the are dropping baseball. Supposedly they are dropping softball because the US has been so dominate winning all the golds to this point (that was the reasoning used during the broadcasts) then we go and choke and Japan gets gold. If you follow that reasoning, then I guess we should drop diving (Chinese dominate), dressage (germany and netherlands), and several other sports.

PhoenixFarm
Aug. 25, 2008, 02:50 PM
I know everyone dis-es rhythmic gymnastics. It is corney, but there's something about them that seems like they're a really old sport. I mean I can imagine stuff like that going on in ancient Greece or by the Minoans. And I like that tie to the past - even if it's only in my brain.

I agree I love rhythmic gymnastics, LOL. I watched the team final yesterday and all I could keep thinking about was how many times those girls must get smacked in the face with their various items (balls, hoops, jump ropes, clubs, etc.) while learning just how much and where to throw those suckers in the air and to and at each other.

Imagine a whole sport wherein the practice involves getting hit with things! And we think riding is tough because we fall off! :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

Anyway, back to this discussion, I'm going to throw in my little pitch here to the dressage powers that be here for a sec. You want your sport to be more popular and appreciated? Get rid of this nonsense that judges must have seen the combination and have "confidence" in the scores they give. Allow for a "kid outta nowhere story". Tribesman in the darkest reaches of the Amazon knew the top two were going to be Anky and Isabell, virtually regardless of how they performed.

Meanwhile over at the diving pool (with their primetime coverage and 15 swoopy camera angles and commentators who described with every dive why something was good and something was not) a guy from Australia dove like had never dived before and stopped the Chinese juggernaut in its tracks. He was better on that day, and the judges rewarded him.

And that my friends, is why diving--a sport that is every bit as esoteric, complex, artistic, and subjectively judged as dressage--gets to "go to the show" and dressage doesn't. Because it doesn't feel like the finish is a foregone conclusion, because someone can jump up on that day and get on the podium.

danceronice
Aug. 25, 2008, 02:52 PM
If it were just dominance, table tennis would have to go.

Actually I'd like to see them add roller skating, as they still have to do compulsory figures (unlike "figure" skating, which dropped them in 1990.)

Heh, I could make a reasonable argument that if military background is relevant, ballroom dancing should already be in. It was only this year that Annapolis dropped formal dance training as a requirement (there is still an optional club.) Used to be part of an officer's training--how to behave at a ball!

magnolia73
Aug. 25, 2008, 03:00 PM
Why would you drop baseball? It's big in Japan, big in many nations, its a nice team sport that any less than affluent country should field a team for.

Honestly- equestrian except perhaps showjumping should be dropped. Dressage is well- honestly, boring, dominated by two people and it does not broadcast well. And horse people that participate in the sport can barely comprehend the judging. At least in skating we can easily tell a good performance. Eventing has too few nations that can safely field teams at the top level. Plus it is horribly expensive to put on.

Having Golf is ridiculous as well. I think that golf is less relevant to young people than mountain biking/BMX. Tiger Woods probably temporarily stopped its decline. But memberships are down and a lot of courses are short on members and one step short of becoming XC courses. Plus again- it requires a lot of land and money to make a course.

dressagetraks
Aug. 25, 2008, 03:13 PM
Golf???

On the other hand, this could get fun. Given the propensity of Olympic sites to put the cross-country course on a golf course (a great use of a golf course, if you ask me), I can imagine some interesting situations arising, even if they don't have competitors of each out on the course at the same time. :lol:

Janet
Aug. 25, 2008, 03:14 PM
yeah, so if they have a huge following, as with tennis and basketball, they have their "BIG DAY" at other places and other competitions.... for most the olympics is as good as it gets for equestrian sports
I would disagree. I would say that the WEG (where there is no need to "soften the course" because the qualifying criteria are stricter) is the "BID DAY" for teh Equestrian disciplines. The Olympics are definitely a step down from the WEG.

freestyle2music
Aug. 25, 2008, 03:16 PM
Why would you drop baseball? It's big in Japan, big in many nations, its a nice team sport that any less than affluent country should field a team for.

Honestly- equestrian except perhaps showjumping should be dropped. Dressage is well- honestly, boring, dominated by two people and it does not broadcast well. And horse people that participate in the sport can barely comprehend the judging. At least in skating we can easily tell a good performance. Eventing has too few nations that can safely field teams at the top level. Plus it is horribly expensive to put on.

Having Golf is ridiculous as well. I think that golf is less relevant to young people than mountain biking/BMX. Tiger Woods probably temporarily stopped its decline. But memberships are down and a lot of courses are short on members and one step short of becoming XC courses. Plus again- it requires a lot of land and money to make a course.

Wow 2 years a member of an Equestrian forum, over 1400 posts, and telling the world that it all is very boring.
:confused:

Event Horse
Aug. 25, 2008, 03:19 PM
On the other hand, equestrian sports are rooted in the military tradition...historically the base of Olympic sport.
Not to hijack here, but I agree with dumping baseball & softball.

I saw a comment on a message board from someone bemoaning the fact that baseball and softball were going to be dropped. The comment was how can dressage be allowed and baseball be out because baseball has been around since the 1800s. Um, reality check here - how long have people been riding horses? Got a laugh out of that one.

Albion
Aug. 25, 2008, 03:28 PM
From the perspective of outsiders, dressage IS boring - the freestyle can be exciting, but watching the GP Special over and over again? I thought one reason they axed the compulsory routines in gymnastics is because people who weren't intimately familiar with the sport found it boring - the same routine over and over again. Same thing with compulsory figures in figure skating. For the average viewer (you know, the ones that make up the bulk of the Olympic audience?), it's yawn worthy.

Judging is mystifying for outsiders who can't tell a good piaffe from a mediocre one. Actually, with the new code, gymnastics seems to be moving towards that same problem - most people can spot huge errors ('She fell off the uneven bars!'), but the nitty gritty of form and how routines are composed is lost on the average viewer, and with the new code, even big errors can receive medal worthy scores.


The comment was how can dressage be allowed and baseball be out because baseball has been around since the 1800s. Um, reality check here - how long have people been riding horses? Got a laugh out of that one.

How long have people been whacking balls with sticks? :confused: A very, very long time, is the answer. Competitive dressage as such is a reasonably new sport, as is baseball, but people were playing games akin to baseball long before they were doing anything remotely resembling modern riding competitions.

Mozart
Aug. 25, 2008, 03:39 PM
I wonder if the dressage results are being talked about anywhere but horse bb's. Subjectively judged sports are never easy for the outsider but this year's dressage has been particularly challenging. I had a lot riding (but not dressage riding) friends say "but how can you win the silver when the horse was resisting in two tests" You can tell them "but it was just one movement" but when it is mystifying even to other horse people...not really a good sign. And I say this as someone who loves watching dressage.

skatepixie
Aug. 25, 2008, 04:05 PM
I know everyone dis-es rhythmic gymnastics. It is corney, but there's something about them that seems like they're a really old sport. I mean I can imagine stuff like that going on in ancient Greece or by the Minoans. And I like that tie to the past - even if it's only in my brain.


Personally, I think rythmic gymnastics is beautiful. :)

freestyle2music
Aug. 25, 2008, 04:09 PM
I wonder if the dressage results are being talked about anywhere but horse bb's. Subjectively judged sports are never easy for the outsider but this year's dressage has been particularly challenging. I had a lot riding (but not dressage riding) friends say "but how can you win the silver when the horse was resisting in two tests" You can tell them "but it was just one movement" but when it is mystifying even to other horse people...not really a good sign. And I say this as someone who loves watching dressage.

You should have used the example of the Decathlon, then everybody understands. :D

magnolia73
Aug. 25, 2008, 04:17 PM
Wow 2 years a member of an Equestrian forum, over 1400 posts, and telling the world that it all is very boring.

Well- it is boring for me. It is lovely to watch a few freestyles or a test or two, but after a while, it gets boring, especially when reduced to a screen, and especially when the difference between a gold medal test and a 10th place test is only apparent to very few. It's damn hard to tell if that piaffe is spectacular or not. I watched a few- the people from the US, Anky, Isabel. I would not watch again. And I regularly scribe for dressage judges. Sorry- it just doesn't translate for me. I imagine that your audience is simply very small if even people marginally involved in the sport can't make it through more than 5 or 6 tests without yawning.

What the heck do you do to attract non- fans "Honey- look, Salierno is so through and free in his extensions" or "Oh My, Steffen's horse is not sitting his piaffe - hope he gets it right the next time or no bronze!"

I think in general, exciting sports to WATCH involve things that are objective not subjective or situations where quality is easily apparent to the viewer with no experience.

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 25, 2008, 04:57 PM
Personally, I think rythmic gymnastics is beautiful. :)


So is ballroom dancing--but a sport? C'mon. :rolleyes:

Runinonjoy
Aug. 25, 2008, 05:15 PM
I think it would be really unfortunate if decisions on what to include/not include in the olympics were made based primarily on how exciting they were to watch on television. I understand that the main goal of broadcasters is to attract viewers, and in order to do that they need to air exciting, easily-comprehended sports, but that is NOT the main goal of the Olympics. IMHO, there are several Olympic sports that are tricky to understand for the average person (both equestrian and other), and while they may be "boring" or strange from the perspective of someone sitting in front of a TV, that doesn't mean that their athletes shouldn't have the opportunity to compete at the highest level. The Olympics are about excelling in a sport, striving for the highest level of skill, and competing against equally talented athletes who are all reaching for the same goal-- not about drawing the largest crowd of couch potatoes. Just one girl's opinion!

spotted mustang
Aug. 25, 2008, 05:54 PM
So is ballroom dancing--but a sport? C'mon. :rolleyes:

you obviously have no clue about the enormous strength, control, and flexibility required of a rhythmic gymnast. try to see if you have the strength to lift your leg above knee level, let alone above your head. Not to mention the cardiac fitness needed to get through just one of their routines. It takes years and years of intense daily training - so yes, it's a sport; and a very intense one.

Your comment is the equivalent of one a non-rider would make about dressage : "It's not a sport, because obviously the horse is doing all the work."

EMWalker
Aug. 25, 2008, 06:25 PM
Golf is probably one of the most techniclly challenging sports there is and has a much bigger draw internationally then 90% of the Olympic sports. If they do bring golf on, they would most likely use existing courses so the draw for the IOC is they could add a sport w/o a lot of added expenses. Most Olympic cities have plenty of courses to host a big event. (London for example would have multiple courses good enough to host the games).

It is not the players pushing for golf to be in the Games, it's the commisioner of the PGA Tour. It probably get high ratings behind basketball and soccer. And it's all about ratings.

But nothing has been confirmed yet. But I can see the IOCs point - draw large crowds without much added expense. (using existing courses and the PGA Tours equipment) Can anyone on here name another sport that has these advantages???

PS. Golfers like Greg Norman, Gary Player and Nick Faldo were working out long before Tiger was. Just because they don't work out traditionally doesn't mean they aren't fit. PGA Tour golfers walk well over 1000 miles per year. I would say that today 90% of pros have a work out routine in addition to the 8 hours a day they spend on the course.

Lexi
Aug. 25, 2008, 06:51 PM
the sports for 2012 were already voted on 3 years ago; softball and baseball were voted out, and no new ones were voted in. disciplines/events within the 26 remaining sports get voted on next year. so according to all that I've seen published (and IOC procedure) there will be only 26 sports in London, that's all. but there still could be new disciplines and events and surely will be.

golf is one of 7 sports lobbying for inclusion in 2016 (that includes baseball and softball trying to get back in). http://www.golf.com/golf/tours_news/article/0,28136,1735135,00.html

so I don't know what the hell Rogge is talking about as Eventing (a discipline) could still get voted out for London, and Equestrian (the whole sport) could still get voted out for 2016. Not likely but still possible. Perhaps he was a bit tired/drunk at the point of this supposed interview? of course he does worship the princess no matter what she pulls, so Equestrian should be safe for awhile.

skatepixie
Aug. 25, 2008, 06:53 PM
you obviously have no clue about the enormous strength, control, and flexibility required of a rhythmic gymnast. try to see if you have the strength to lift your leg above knee level, let alone above your head. Not to mention the cardiac fitness needed to get through just one of their routines. It takes years and years of intense daily training - so yes, it's a sport; and a very intense one.

Your comment is the equivalent of one a non-rider would make about dressage : "It's not a sport, because obviously the horse is doing all the work."

Thank you. :D

vineyridge
Aug. 25, 2008, 06:56 PM
Another team sport that has limited appeal is Field Hockey, which is played at the top level in only a few countries. It never seems to be on the Olympic bubble. Who plays field hockey besides Indians and Pakistanis?

Just checked. It seems to be a European and former British colony sport, with the addition of China.

I'd love to see lacrosse make the Olympics, but it's probably too North American. :)

Foxtrot's
Aug. 25, 2008, 06:59 PM
Ballroom dancing cannot be compared with rythmic gymnastics. Try
ice dancing more like it. Trouble is, people are so polarized, they cannot see the other side. If a sport is done world wide, instead of just a few select nations, they will get to stay in - that's why it seems odd about baseball being cut. (Also, big confession here, I was not raised in this country and do not know the diff between baseball and softball - anyone?) I think some of us horsepeople would be quite happy to have our own "Olympics" separate from the other Big O. Seemed to work quite well in HK. Often times the horse people do not stay in the village and miss out on the camaraderie aspect and world coming together part. I love the tv coverage of sports I would not normally watch and have loved allowing myself the luxury of too much television during the last l6 days.

MHM
Aug. 25, 2008, 07:06 PM
Often times the horse people do not stay in the village and miss out on the camaraderie aspect and world coming together part.

I had a mental image of Ian Millar walking through the Olympic village, and all the young athletes asking each other, "Is that your grandpa? How did he get past security?" :lol:

Softball uses a slightly bigger, softer ball, and the pitcher does not throw overhand, so the ball comes to the batter more slowly than in baseball. I think. I'm sure it's more complicated than that, but....

veebug22
Aug. 25, 2008, 07:21 PM
I wouldn't be sad to see most of the team sports (basketball, softball, soccer, etc.) not in the Olympics. I feel like there are so many highly visible forums and world-class tournaments catering to those teams/sports and making sure their competition is watched. Also, those sports have a lot of extremely high-paid professionals. I think the Olympics is a great medium for people to get involved and passionate about supporting very talented individuals, who otherwise would often not be known to the general public. I guess when I think of the Olympics, I think of a phenomenal individual, not a soccer team. For some reason table tennis bothers me less than soccer!!!

danceronice
Aug. 25, 2008, 07:21 PM
Anyone who thinks ballroom dancing isn't athletic has never done it (and no, learning to do the hang n' shuffle for senior prom doesn't count.) I've lost more weight dancing than I ever did horseback riding. There's a reason most of us who do it competitively have intense supporting fitness routines. You even get a slight split between styles in things that favor stamina (Standard, Smooth and New Vogue) and those that favor sprinters (Latin and Rhythm).

Rhythmic Gymnastics--I hate it for its contortionist freak-show aspect, but I wouldn't call it a nonsport.

And I can say yes, other people are talking about the dressage results, at least they are on one figure-skating board I frequent. Mostly in a WTF?!? context. They not only don't get what's being judged, they don't get why a horse who was acting bad still won (until you explain the whole points on other elements thing and then "Oh, it really IS just like skating.")

A note also from the skating world--a big reason that figures began to be downgraded in importance was not just that they're boring on TV--but that htey were the easiest place for judges to collude and cheat.

dogchushu
Aug. 25, 2008, 07:24 PM
Comparison of baseball and softball (Olympic softball is fast pitch):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_baseball_and_softball

It pretty much boils down to what MHM said: softball uses a bigger, softer ball that's pitched underhanded. So you see much slower mph for the ball in softball. There are also only 7 innings (as opposed to 9 in baseball) and the infield (including distance to the pitching mound) is smaller. Plays in softball seem to take a bit longer, but the game doesn't usually last much longer because there are fewer innings. Oh yeah. While getting hit with a softball still hurts like the dickens and causes a huge bruise, it's not even close to getting hit with by a baseball! :lol:

Lexi
Aug. 25, 2008, 07:34 PM
Who plays field hockey besides Indians and Pakistanis?it was pretty much mandatory in my midwestern high school, and pretty serious business. I objected to having to play a sport in a dress. But a friend of mine got a full scholarship to UNC-Chapel Hill for it.

The US womens team qualified for the Olympics in Beijing, the first time since '96 (and that was a host country slot, before that it was '88 I think)

Bats79
Aug. 25, 2008, 09:02 PM
Another team sport that has limited appeal is Field Hockey, which is played at the top level in only a few countries. It never seems to be on the Olympic bubble. Who plays field hockey besides Indians and Pakistanis?

Just checked. It seems to be a European and former British colony sport, with the addition of China.

This would mean that ONLY the America's don't play hockey - pretty much an International sport then. :)

Xanthoria
Aug. 25, 2008, 09:26 PM
Yes, I am really quite surprised they are canning baseball/softball. Have not heard the rationale. But so many people play it, not just in N.America. It is cheap to stage, easy to understand, of all the sports on the chopping block I can't imagine why they would can it.


Baseball is only played N and S America and Japan really. They call it the World Series but the rest of the world wonders... well, what "world" are they thinking of? :lol:

Actually, I think cricket probably has a bigger following worldwide in terms of countries who play it. Cricket is huge in India, Pakistan, Australia, the West Indies, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, the UK, Europe, S Africa and Zimbabwe, with the Netherlands, Argentina, Nepal and Kenya having well established amateur divisions.

So, while you might think cricket a daft idea for an Olympic sport, it's probably more likely than baseball and certainly softball. Just change the name to "British Baseball" and everyone will love it! :rolleyes::lol:

spotted mustang
Aug. 25, 2008, 09:54 PM
for my money, it's the little odd sports that make the olympics so interesting. If they only had sports of "broad appeal", the olympics would be booooring! I can watch soccer, tennis, or basketball all day long.

But when do I get to see diving, or rhythmic gymnastics, or weightlifting, or kayaking, or luge and all those oddities except at the olympics? Sure, some of them are weird, and some I don't understand, but as long as someone enjoys them, I say, bring 'em on! Synchronized swimming, for pete's sake - how much weirder does it get? But those ladies do look fit, I'll say that much.

Hurrah for weirdness, oddity and diversity. To hell with broad appeal. Bring on break dancing, ultimate frisbee and skijoring! Let's have juggling! Vaulting! Rock climbing!

Ajierene
Aug. 25, 2008, 10:01 PM
Of course they tried cricket in the Olympics before - France and England were the only ones with a team then and the single game lasted two days....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cricket_in_the_Olympics

The French team consisted of British living in France, so really it was British against British...


The Olympic sports are decided on historical significance, financial obligation to put on the event, time it takes for the event, popularity, and spectator draw. The last two are basically the same. This is why Three Day Eventing changed to the short format - they were almost kicked out because the sport is not all that popular, takes a while and the financial cost and space required were very prohibitive.

Golf - almost every country has a golf course and if the course is changed or a new course is made specifically for the Olympics, it can be used again.

With the Equestrian sports, for the events that happened in the arena, the race track had to be converted and will need to be changed back to a race track. The cross country course needs to be turned back into a golf course - there really isn't any reusable options. Olympic stadiums? Some are monuments, some host other games and events. I have swam in an Olympic (not Olympic sized, an actual Olympic) pool before. I have yet to see an Eventing cross country course continue to be a course after the Olympics - enlighten me if I am wrong.

Soccer (football), as far as I know, is much more popular worldwide than baseball. While it does not take up nearly as much room to play, both baseball and softball are slow moving games that take a long time to play. Football is one hour - not 9 innings that may take 2 hours or 10 hours.

As far as synchronized swimming goes - you try holding your breath while staying in unison with a bunch of other people for a minimum of what 30 seconds they are underwater at a time?

spotted mustang
Aug. 25, 2008, 10:05 PM
I mean, watch THIS with the sound off and tell me it ain't entertaining:

http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/share.html?videoid=0820_sd_syb_hl_l1048

that's the bizzarrest, funniest freak show at the olympics. I hope they keep it in. And yes, I think it's a sport, because it's difficult and very athletic.

danceronice
Aug. 26, 2008, 12:29 AM
Difficult?!? That's an understatement. I would have drowned somewhere around the 1:10 mark. And I'm trying to figure out how the heck they're doing the head-down moves as they can't touch bottom.

nero
Aug. 26, 2008, 01:09 AM
I think that by and large the sports where the Olympics is the pinnacle of achievement should be the ones included, where the Olympic gold medal is the highest honour in the sport. This would ensure that those athletes attending the Games are the very best in the world and are trying their best to win a medal - that's a win for the sport, a win for the audience/spectators and a win for the reputation of the Olympics. If a sport's most coveted crown is outside the Olympics like Wimbeldon, The USA Open (golf), The World Series, The World Cup (which is why its good that Olympic soccer is under 25s) etc then it doesn't make the Games. I mean does Roger Federer REALLY care about the Olympic Gold Medal so much if he's going for the Grand Slam? Would Tiger want a gold more than a US PGA? Debatable.

But obviously there are many criteria that needs to be considered but this would be a good start.

But also we have to think about TV rights, it is these that make the IOC go around and so the Games must deliver to the TV market, hence beach volleyball and other 'glamour' sports that might no be so traditional. Is it hurting anyone to have all these sports included? Not really. (personally I think BMX is a bit too much and while I don't really warm to sycn swimming I can just choose not to watch it)

I think though that an Olympic gold medal in equestrian is more coveted than WEG even though the courses are harder at WEG.

vineyridge
Aug. 26, 2008, 01:21 AM
This would mean that ONLY the America's don't play hockey - pretty much an International sport then. :)

Rugby isn't in the Olympics. ;)

MHM
Aug. 26, 2008, 02:58 AM
Ugh. Beach volleyball- please. :rolleyes:

Coral
Aug. 26, 2008, 12:03 PM
Dressage isn't the most boring of the Olympic sports, not even close. I spent some time watching some of the "off" sports on one of my HD channels and they were all pretty boring, I can understand why they weren't on mainstream TV. I mean Archery? Really? Snooooorefest.

If you aren't actively interested in them most of the Olympic sports are just painful to watch. I really think they did a great job this year because you could go see sports you were interested through the online coverage and people who weren't interested don't have to sit through hours of it. I think it's fine if they get a few bread and butter sports to pay the bills with network coverage and the rest of us can enjoy our non-prime time sports too. :D

Foxtrot's
Aug. 26, 2008, 07:59 PM
I agree - the average American horse person cannot be called a sportsperson if they have only a narrow interest in sports. However, in some countries some of these fringe sports are very keenly followed, so we have to look at things from both sides. For the athletes involved, they have spent years of dedication and sacrifice working at the sports they love - each to their own. Even I, avid as I am about horses, find dressage gets a bit loooong. Also, not for us to criticise since we maybe can dabble in a sport, but not many of us will dare to become world class in it. The road is too long and too hard.

BahamaMama
Aug. 27, 2008, 11:02 AM
Rugby isn't in the Olympics. ;)

But the Rugby rules are different in every country.

flyracing
Aug. 27, 2008, 12:03 PM
Just an FYI for people who have never touched a softball (or a baseball for that matter) before. The softballs used at the games were made by the same maker and with the same materials than the baseballs used at the games. Yes they are 12" balls instead of 9", but otherwise the only differences is the size, having a raised thread, and the color of the ball.

Also, because the olypic pitchers are pitching from a shorter distance the speed is equivalent to 90+ mph pitches in baseball. (softball players start pitching about 60 mph in the competitive 16 year old leagues and into the sevneties by the pro levels.

PS They do make softer softballs and baseballs for younger players and indoor practicing.

Also, BMX does not have a spot in extreme games, you are confusing BMX with the trick and stunt riding of the x games. Also, BMX is more popular in other countries than in ours (gasp!) and it is a very affordable sport for the host.

My sources: 9 years of fastpitch softball and 6 years working in the industry of bmx



Comparison of baseball and softball (Olympic softball is fast pitch):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_baseball_and_softball

It pretty much boils down to what MHM said: softball uses a bigger, softer ball that's pitched underhanded. So you see much slower mph for the ball in softball. There are also only 7 innings (as opposed to 9 in baseball) and the infield (including distance to the pitching mound) is smaller. Plays in softball seem to take a bit longer, but the game doesn't usually last much longer because there are fewer innings. Oh yeah. While getting hit with a softball still hurts like the dickens and causes a huge bruise, it's not even close to getting hit with by a baseball! :lol:

belambi
Aug. 27, 2008, 12:20 PM
rugby 7s will caerainly have a chance to get in in the near future..Its not in for London, but may well be helped by the fact that Rogge is an ex international rugby player.Its such a big game here and in the other pacific nations.Fiji is actually the current world champions.

Wheelchair rugby is in the paralympics .

msrobin
Aug. 27, 2008, 01:03 PM
Golf to me is like watching cement sit. It is the most boring sport. Hit a ball then go after it then hit it again. Silly silly.
I will never get that stuff. I don't see them as athletes the only thing they do is get a ball in a hole.

Dressage for me is exhilarating. I know what the riders are doing and how difficult it can be. That alone gives me goosebumps. I enjoy it immensely. Most people just do not understand dressage and what it is that is actually happening that makes it so great.