Why not bring on the Olympic korfball excitement? | TheUnion.com
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Why not bring on the Olympic korfball excitement?

An International Olympic Committee panel recommended Wednesday that baseball and softball be eliminated from the Summer Olympics.

They are really, really new sports, Olympics-wise. The level of international popularity in these sports can’t be the fatal criteria, or else synchronized swimming or a dozen other sports we don’t even realize are in the Olympics would be shown the door instead.

The fact the Americans do well in these sports could not be the death blow, either, or else basketball Dream Teams and a dozen other sports Americans dominate would be shown the door first.



The IOC also suggested modern pentathlon and Greco-Roman wrestling be eliminated. They are really, really old sports. Never mind the Olympics has itself a somewhat lengthy history. Apparently it is time to modernize, to leap forward with both feet and hope heads aren’t hit in the process.

The same IOC panel suggested golf and rugby join the party, instead.




Ice skating? It will emphatically remain, according to the IOC sages.

No word yet on ballroom dancing being admitted as an Olympic sport, so we’ll just have to continue holding our happy feet on that one.

Now, all the blah-blah above is just in various stages of committee nightmare. Most are two meetings of the minds away from becoming reality, others even more distant.

But ice skating is definitely here to stay. Did I already mention that? Somewhere in there is a joke about judging the sport, but why bother finding it? In the time it would take to do so, we could miss out on the next big announcement from the IOC:

“… Iron Chef’s plea for cooking as Olympic sport is under consideration for demonstration sport status…”

One’s imagination usually doesn’t drift far from the sound reasoning of the IOC.

That baseball and softball are on the ropes is surprising at first glance, but not once one dips into the merry-go-round of Olympic history.

Rugby was first an Olympic sport more than a century ago, as was golf. Now the IOC wants to bring them back, which perhaps lends hope there will be a return to the Olympics by sepia classics such as tug-of-war, roque, and who could forget the two-time Olympic demonstration sport of korfball?

The most important question is no longer what is or is not an Olympic sport. That debate is endless, and with each new twist by the IOC, seemingly futile.

Instead we first need to ask what color is the sky in the IOC’s world, sigh, and then ask just what is korfball, anyway.

Vince Vosti is a sports writer for The Union. Call him at 477-4233 or e-mail him at


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