I figured I would post something about my thoughts on getting into the Olympics now that we are about to find out if we made the two sport cut. I think the decision is set to be posted tomorrow or Friday.
Seven sports are vying for the two spots: Roller Sports, Rugby Sevens, Squash, Baseball, Softball, Golf, and Karate. For the record I do not know too much about any of these sports besides our own. Baseball and Softball have just been kicked out of the Olympics and nothing has changed with them. The MLB has not decided to allow it's players to play in the Olympics so the IOC has virtually no reason to vote them back in after just voting them out. So now it's a five sport race in my opinion. I do not know much about Squash or Karate. I have heard that squash is somewhat similar to Hockey and that there are already two forms of Martial Arts in the Olympics so why add a third of the same? I cannot tell you what the Olympic Committee is looking for in the sports but if it's a larger fan base or new fans they probably wouldn't get there with a third martial arts sport.
So now I've brought it down to Roller Sports, Rugby Sevens, Golf, and Squash. Like I already said, the say Squash is a lot like hockey, but that doesn't warrant me to dismiss them considering that roller sports is a lot like short track speed skating.
Now a couple days ago I was watching ESPN when Tiger Woods was talking about Golf and the possibility of getting into the Olympics. Now I will be the first to tell you that I believe Tiger Woods is incredible in his sport but watching his press conference I was chuckling to myself with the things he was saying. If Golf makes the Olympics it will be the top 50 rated players. But Tiger mentioned that Golf would give countries the chance to win a medal that don't normally win medals. Really? They said the numbers would be something ridiculous like 50% of the participants would probably be American, maybe more. How many other countries have prominent golf players? 3? There would be 16 represented countries but how many stand a chance at winning a medal? I don't know but I don't think the number is outstanding.
Now lets for instance just look at the countries that earned medals in the races at worlds that would be put in the Olympics: from what I heard I think the races would be 500, 1000, 10k elimination, 15k points race and a marathon. It is not specified whether or not it would be on track or road.. it is said to be whatever the IOC decides is better. Road would certainly be much easier.
Korea, New Zealand, France, Spain, Colombia, Argentina, Italy, USA, Germany all won medals in senior at the world championships last year in the proposed races ( I used track for the 500, 1000, 10k, and 15k.... Venezuela, China, Chinese Taipei would be added to the list of countries if you included the 10k on the road from worlds)
That's twelve different countries winning medals in the proposed list and you could also add Belgium to the list because they definitely have skaters capable of winning medals. That is a true testament of countries winning medals that are not normal medal winners at the Olympics. The number of competitors would be 50 men and 50 women. Approximately, 13 from the Americas, 13 from Europe, 13 from Asia, 6 from Africa, and 5 from Oceania is what I read from www.rollersports.org
That's just a little information I put into it. Not to mention adding Roller Sports would add a completely different fan base.
My take is a little more personal I guess. I believe out of those seven sports Roller Sports should definitely be one, but of course that is a biased opinion. There are six sports vying for the spots (baseball and softball are the same just different sex) in order for me to be a typical Baseball, Rugby, and maybe even Squash player I would have to grow and probably add a good chunk of muscle to my body frame. Is that an equal opportunity? I don't think so, does that make them more of an athlete then me? No I don't think so. In Roller Sports we are very unique, you see a small person (ME) can compete on the same level as a very large person (Tall would be Cheeks and muscular would be someone like Joey) how many other sports is that possible in? I've heard ideas that it's possible because of the amount of power versus your size really produces your speed.. in honesty I don't care how it is possible but i like that it is. In other words how do you describe a typical inline speed skater? What is their age? height? body type? ethnicity? You can't and that's what makes our sport even more unique.
What is our sport missing compared to some of these other sports? Golf has Tiger which is the star power, we are lacking that but only because we are not highly televised.. for those of us in our sport we know (especially if you've ever been to worlds) that there is no bigger star then Joey. What else are we missing? We would bring in a different fan base, attract a younger audience, cost little money compared to most sports, and we are an exciting sport. You can tune in for 10 minutes and see exciting things. If you tune into to Golf for 10 minutes you could potentially see nothing really exciting unless you know the sport inside and out.
This again is all an opinion just for clarification.
I would also like throw out there that ESPN stated today that Golf is expected to make the cut. How they would know this I do not know. I hope they are wrong but that is just me.