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  1. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    This gives me some insight into how the IOC Executive Board members think--they are out of touch with the majority of the world's people.

    As you describe, golf is like most if not all winter sports: With a few exceptions, it is accessible only to children who live in certain countries and have families who are at least middle class.

    Wrestling is one of a small handful of sports accessible to a poor kid in Azerbaijan as much as a middle class kid in the US.
    Are you saying, then, that all sports that aren't accessible to a poor kid in Azerbaijan should be eliminated? It would be a pretty darn short Olympics if that happened.

    FTR - I've already said this and I'll say it again - I don't think golf should be an Olympic sport, mainly because I don't think professional athletes - from anywhere in any sport - should be allowed to complete in the Olympics. Now if the golf (and hockey and basketball and on and on) were played by amateurs, then I'd have a different opinion about them. Even if they were amateurs, should golf replace wrestling? I don't think so. Should it replace one of the badminton/ping pong events? I think that could be a valid argument.

    This quote is saddening because it suggests that the golfing community is in denial. As if these environmental incentives can compensate in any meaningful amount to the environmental damage from building and maintaining golf courses. It's like Philip Morris' anti teen smoking or Walmart's fair labor initiatives.

    I do believe, however, that the golfing community's initiatives are more genuinely motivated.
    I can't speak about the world's view of golf and the environment, but the USGA is very concerned about it - and about the water issue. For example:

    http://www.usga.org/news/2013/Februa...th,-Not-Color/

    This is easier said than done. Moving away from cosmetic irrigation requires a cultural attitude adjustment that appreciates playability more than cosmetics. While golfer education will present some challenges, there are many benefits in promoting firmer conditions and moving away from cosmetic irrigation. Benefits include water conservation and economic savings, improved playability and firmness, less disease and subsequent fungicide use, and the development of stronger turfgrasses over time.

    The many benefits make a strong case that using less water and irrigating for turf health and playability is better for the turf, better for the environment, and ultimately better for the game.

    Adam Moeller is a USGA Green Section agronomist in the Northeast Region. Email him at amoeller@usga.org.

    I don't have a link, but the head of the USGA was quoted in the recent Golfweek magazine (I think that was the one - I generally don't read it but it was the only thing at hand at the moment) that he's going to take on the water issue next, not that he's pissed everyone off about the belly putter.

  2. #162
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    The pro versus amateur litmus test really doesn't work anymore when determining Olympic inclusion. Table Tennis and Badminton have had professional tours for about 20 years now, albeit of prize money on a much smaller scale compared to golf (for example, the World Table Tennis tour is $3 million total across all singles/doubles for 2013, whereas Adam Scott himself won $1.4 million for winning this year's Masters).

  3. #163

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    Show jumping and eventing too, dressage to a lesser extend. Olympic gold is still the pinnacle.

    The only sports I can think of where Olympic gold is not the ultimate prize are tennis and golf, and the big team sports (regardless of Olympic status or not). Maybe ice hockey is the exception?

    In any case, it seems the sports with the biggest tv following and the biggest money involved might now live up to the gut feeling of what an 'Olympic' sport should be.
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  4. #164
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    To be honest, despite being a rabid footie fan, I wouldn't mind it getting kicked out of the Olympic movement because nothing must threaten the World Cup. To besides I watch the olys for all the smaller and not so small sports that I get to see at no other time but once every four years.

  5. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    the Olympics are increasingly about money money money
    Hosting the Olympics is an expensive business. Without the sponsorship and TV rights money it wouldn't happen.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

  6. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by maatTheViking View Post
    The only sports I can think of where Olympic gold is not the ultimate prize are tennis and golf, and the big team sports (regardless of Olympic status or not). Maybe ice hockey is the exception?.
    I'd probably add road cycling. A Tour de France win or World Championship is probably bigger than an Olympic medal or at least worth more financially to an athlete.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  7. #167

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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    Hosting the Olympics is an expensive business. Without the sponsorship and TV rights money it wouldn't happen.
    That's true. I'd be interested in data on cost vs. revenue for an individual sport. I imagine swimming is high cost, high revenue. Wrestling is low cost, low revenue. Basketball is low cost, high revenue? Equestrian is high cost, low revenue?

  8. #168

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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8er1964 View Post
    Are you saying, then, that all sports that aren't accessible to a poor kid in Azerbaijan should be eliminated? It would be a pretty darn short Olympics if that happened.
    Sorry, I'll try to be clearer.

    You had said that contrary to popular belief, golf actually is accessible to people like your son, even more than figure skating. You provide evidence that golf is like most winter sports--with some exceptions, accessible to children from at least middle class families who live in certain countries.

    This difference in golf's actual accessibility vs. perceived accessibility is imperceptible to a large part of the world. To make and care about that distinction, you have to already be in a position of privilege.

    Here's a sports analogy. In basketball, some positions are more accessible to shorter people. To be an NBA center, you generally have to be at least 6'9". There are many NBA guards, however, who are 6'5". The guard position is thus accessible to many more people than the center position. To men over 6 feet who want to play basketball, that matters. But to dwarves, although the guard position may be somewhat more accessible to them, that increased accessibility is meaningless because any NBA position is still completely inaccessible.

    Your view is that of a 6ft+ guy living in a world of mostly dwarves.

    This in no way means that only sports like wrestling and track should be in the Olympics. It does, however, strongly suggest that the IOC members have difficultly evaluating sports from a comprehensive global perspective. They may not have the insight to realize how few sports are internationally accessible and thus not have the wisdom to preserve those sports.
    Last edited by Gazpacho; 06-07-2013 at 08:05 PM.

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