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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    It's About Bloody Time!!!

    Rugby back in the Olympics!!!

    Golf too (by much smaller margin). Although I'm not so sure about that one I guess you can't deny its worldwide appeal:

    Rugby sevens, golf join Olympic line-up
    9:11AM Saturday Oct 10, 2009


    Footy ambassador Jonah Lomu celebrates rugby sevens becoming an Olympic sport. Photo / AP




    COPENHAGEN - Tiger Woods will get a chance to win golf gold, and rugby teams can start rehearsing their Olympic hakas after both sports won inclusion in the 2016 Games.

    After more than a century on the sidelines, golf will return to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Rugby, last played in 1924, is coming back as well.
    Both were reinstated for the 2016 and 2020 games after a vote by the International Olympic Committee.

    Each sport received majority support in separate votes after leading athletes and officials from both camps gave presentations, including a taped video message from Woods and other top pros.

    Woods has indicated he would play in the Olympics if golf were accepted for 2016.

    "There are millions of young golfers worldwide who would be proud to represent their country," Woods said from the Presidents Cup. "It would be an honour for anyone who plays this game to become an Olympian."

    Golf was approved 63-27 with two abstentions. Rugby was voted in 81-8 with one abstention.


    The vote brings the number of summer Olympic sports back to 28. There have been two openings on the program since baseball and softball were dropped in 2005 for the 2012 London Games.

    They are the first new sports added since triathlon and taekwondo joined the program for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

    After the announcement, the rugby group jumped from their seats in the back of the room, cheering and hugging each other. The golf representatives were more reserved, applauding and shaking hands.

    "We were ecstatic and wanted to jump on the table, but we sort of restrained ourselves," former New Zealand rugby great Jonah Lomu said. "It was just fantastic for the game."

    Lomu stopped short of breaking into the haka, the intimidating pre-game traditional Maori war dance performed by the New Zealand All Blacks.
    Rugby will organize a four-day seven-a-side tournament - instead of the more traditional 15-a-side game - for 12 men's and women's teams. Golf will stage a 72-hole stroke-play tournament for men and women, with 60 players in each field.
    The venue and schedule for both sports in Rio de Janeiro has yet to be decided. The golf tournament will not necessarily be played between a Thursday and Sunday, bid leader Ty Votaw said.

    "It might be Wednesday to Saturday," Votaw said. "Or it might be that the women's competition is first, and the men's is second. ... All of those things need to be worked out over the next seven years."

    British bookmaker William Hill immediately named Woods the favourite in Rio, giving 6-1 odds that the American will win the gold medal.

    Rugby and golf both made their Olympic debuts at the second modern games in Paris in 1900. Golf was only played again at the 1904 St. Louis Games, while 15-a-side rugby featured three more times, making its last appearance in the 1924 Paris Olympics.

    Padraig Harrington and Michelle Wie addressed the IOC in person before the vote. Wie talked about taking up golf as a 4-year-old, but never being able to dream of an Olympic medal until now.

    "I can dream about doing something that neither Tiger nor Ernie (Els) have ever done, and that is to make the final putt to win an Olympic gold medal," Wie said. "If this dream comes true, somewhere in the world there will be another 4-year-old who sees me on that podium and perhaps starts her own Olympic dream."
    Rugby officials touted their sport as a modern game that can attract young fans and new sponsors.

    "The sevens format is made for television, made for sponsors, and most importantly loved for fans and players alike," said bid leader Mike Miller, the secretary-general of the International Rugby Board.

    "Rugby and Rio were made for each other. A great atmosphere, great sport and a good time. And I think that's what the Olympic Games are going to be all about."
    The Rugby Sevens World Cup will be cancelled now that the sport has been added to the Olympics.

    The vote was a reversal of the IOC's decision four years ago to reject golf and rugby's inclusion in the 2012 Olympics. Their status for the 2020 Olympics will be reviewed by the IOC in 2017.

    Friday's vote was also a victory for Jacques Rogge, the IOC president who was re-elected to a final four-year term just hours earlier.

    "Time will show your decision (on the new sports) was very wise," Rogge said.
    Golf and rugby were put forward by the executive board in August under Rogge's guidance, at the expense of five other sports which were cut - baseball, softball, squash, karate and roller sports.

    The selection process angered some IOC members, who wanted all seven sports put to a vote by the entire assembly. Senior Canadian member Dick Pound complained before the vote that the members were never told why the two sports were selected over the other five.

    "It is not fair to the other five sports," Pound said. "Because you decided the way you did, it is not a transparent process."

    As expected, golf faced more opposition than rugby. It also faced much tougher questions from IOC members, about the high cost of playing the sport, its accessibility in developing countries, and the fact that some top clubs don't admit women members.

    "There are some serious problems with some clubs where major events are held, in terms of discrimination," American member Anita DeFrantz said. She urged the IOC to "avoid going down a road that may be harmful to our image."

    Votaw, however, said he was not concerned with the level of opposition within the Olympic body.

    "We're not thinking about the 27 votes," he said. "We're just pleased with the 60-plus."
    - AP

  2. #2
    Cenosillicaphobiac
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    Yay!!!!!!

    Not.
    Why can't they leave professional sports out of the Olympics and just have the non-events that no one would watch unless they were in the Olympics.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Too late for that, what with the tennis and all that.

    I'm just happy that since they're going to have pro sports they've finally included rugby!

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
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    Its good, but we have to wait until 2020

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    Its good, but we have to wait until 2020
    Huh?

    "...after both sports won inclusion in the 2016 Games."


  6. #6
    Cenosillicaphobiac
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    It's gonna take Australia a fair bit of time to put together a competitive team, Ant.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Surely they can find 7 Kiwis living in Oz??

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
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    Kiwi's? Or Islanders?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    Its good, but we have to wait until 2020
    Huh?

    "...after both sports won inclusion in the 2016 Games."

    Oops, I read it wrong. Yippee! Only 7 more years

  10. #10
    Dan
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    Bollocks. Should be track and field and - maybe - gymnastics. All those team sports - Hockey? Basketball? For fucks sake - should be kicked out.

  11. #11
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Personally, I will enjoy the inclusion of Rugby. From a broader, big picture perspective, whilst it will give some nations who don't have a chance in more traditional Olympic events a chance at Olympic Medals, it is a sport with relatively small international participation.

    Being a traditionalist, I like the individual events (track and field) they had in the original Olympics when I was a kid in Athens.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat
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    And no doubt you were there for the very first olympics...

  13. #13
    Pronce. PH said so AGAIN!
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    Golf already has 4 majors and tours across the globe, it shouldn't be in the Olympics imo.

    Even if a good golfer from some small country can get govt funds to go to the Olympics he/she isn't going to have a chance against the massed ranks of the PGA any more than they would on the tour. It's pointless.

    Pretty funny to see Wie going on about Olympic gold when she can't even do very well on the LPGA.
    bibo ergo sum
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    This time.

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