At a two-day IOC executive board meeting opening Tuesday, the IOC will also review preparations for the Winter Olympics in Sochi — less than a year away — and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, as well as select a short list of finalists for the 2018 Youth Olympics.
Modern pentathlon, a tradition-steeped contest invented by the founder of the modern Olympics, is expected to face close scrutiny when the board considers which of the current 26 summer Olympic sports to remove from the program of the 2020 Games. Taking out one sport will make way for a new sport to be added to the program later this year.
The executive board will review a report from the IOC program commission assessing each of the sports contested at last summer’s London Olympics.
The report analyzes more than three dozen criteria, including television ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policy and global participation and popularity. With no official rankings or recommendations contained in the report, the final decision by the 15-member executive board will likely be influenced by political, emotional and sentimental factors.
I vote that they save modern pentathlon and cut trampoline. Bouncing on a springy platform is not a sport until it’s two people battling in midair with the loser getting knocked off. Whichever sport is eliminated will have the opportunity to campaign to save its spot if it beats out seven other sports (baseball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding, and wushu) that are trying to feature at the 2020 Olympics. Once again, Jacques Rogge, if you’re reading this, pick squash.
Baseball already has the World Series and doesn’t need the Olympics. Squash is a global sport and would actually be fun to watch. The other sports on that list are either too new (wushu) or would be incredibly boring (sport climbing or wakeboarding). Dislike my picks for the Olympics or want to share your own thoughts? Let me know.