The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) proposed today the list of 26 core sports and 2 additional sports, golf and rugby, to be included in the 2016 Olympic Programme. The proposal will be submitted to the full IOC for a final decision at its Session in Copenhagen in October, where golf and rugby will have the opportunity to present. Seven sports — baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby, softball and squash — were seeking to enter the Olympic programme. The secret ballot vote by the EB followed an extensive evaluation by the Olympic Programme Commission of the potential added value to the Games from each of the seven sports.
“All seven sports made a strong case for inclusion, and the EB carefully evaluated them in a transparent and fair process. In the end, the decision came down to which two would add the most value,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge, who elected not to take part in the vote. “Golf and rugby will be a great addition to the Games.”
The key factors in determining a sport’s suitability for the Olympic programme include youth appeal, universality, popularity, good governance, respect for athletes and respect for the Olympic values.
“Golf and rugby scored high on all the criteria,” Rogge said. “They have global appeal, a geographically diverse line-up of top iconic athletes and an ethic that stresses fair play.”
During the 119th Session in Guatemala in 2007, the IOC approved a simplified voting process for new sport to enter the programme. The IOC members also requested guidance from the EB in the selection of the new sports, and entrusted it to make a proposal based on the work of the Olympic Programme Commission.
All seven sports had a chance to make their case to the Olympic Programme Commission in November 2008 and to the IOC EB in June 2009. Federations were also able to review their section of the report submitted to the EB.
All changes to the sports programme for 2016 are provisional and will be reviewed after the 2016 Games.
Format of the golf competition for the Games proposed by the International Golf Federation (IGF): 8-day competition (4 for men and 4 for women) with 60 men and 60 women. Both men and women play 72 holes of stroke play, 18 holes per day. Medals would be awarded to the 3 competitors with the lowest total score. For more information: www.internationalgolffederation.org
Format of the rugby competition for the Games proposed by the International Rugby Board (IRB): 2 to 4 days of competition of rugby sevens. Teams would be split into 2 pools of 6 with a total of 12 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams (288 athletes). The 2 top teams in each pool would qualify for semi-finals. For more information: www.irb.com
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The press conference with President Jacques Rogge will be available shortly on www.olympic.org
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