New year, new sports: Looking into the future of the Olympics


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The 2012 Olympics just started and I’m already looking forward to future games. What sport will be included next? Which city will host them? Oh, the excitement! I’m especially interested in what new sports will make its way onto the program for a given year. Just think of the joy players of a seemingly obscure sport must feel when they learn their sport made it in.

I’m beginning to fully understand the importance of having a sport you care so much about become an Olympic event. It means the sport is recognized, revered and respected around the world. When I first learned roller derby was one of the eight sports under consideration for the 2020 Olympics, my heart skipped a beat. I’ve been playing roller derby since 2010, and have been totally immersed in the sport ever since. What an honor it would be to watch the world’s best roller derby players compete against each other in such a dramatic fashion!

With such a huge backing in the United States and internationally (there are currently 1,273 amateur leagues found worldwide, according to Derbyroster.com), it’s about time roller derby made its way to the ultimate competition. In fact, the sport had its own Olympics last year when the first-ever Roller Derby World Cup was held in Tronto. Teams from as far as Australia and New Zealand came to compete against each other. But I could go on and on about roller derby …

So let’s see what other sports are making their way to the world stage via International Olympic Committee in the next eight years:

2016 Olympic Games
Rugby will return to the Olympics in 2016 (which will be hosted in Rio). It appeared in the Olympics in Paris 1900, London 1908, Antwerp 1920 and Paris 1924. It will be played with a seven-a-side version, which is very popular all over the world.

Golf was part of the Olympics at the 1904 Games in St. Louis, when the United States and Canada were the only two competing countries. The sport will make its triumphant return in 2016, when at least 30 countries are expected to be represented in both men and women competitions. It came a long way, baby!

2020 Olympic Games
Roller sports (which include speed skating, roller figure skating and roller derby), baseball, softball, wakeboarding, squash, sport climbing, karate and the martial art of wushu) will be evaluated and considered for a spot in the 2020 Games by the International Olympic Committee. A final list will be compiled and voted upon in 2013 at the International Olympic Committee meeting. The suspense is killing me!

In a bid to regain their Olympic status at the 2020 Games, the governing bodies of baseball and softball will merge to form the International Baseball and Softball Federation, according to Reuters. The International Olympic Committee dropped the two sports from the Games in a 2005 vote, making them the first sports to be cut in almost 70 years.

As for the host of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games, Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo are in the running. But we won’t find out until it is announced on Sept. 7, 2013, in Buenos Aires.

Tell us: What sports do you want to see in future Olympic games?