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Inline Skating Roller Speedskating Tries Again for 2016 Summer Olympics wIth Golf, Baseball, Softball, Rugby 7s, Squash, Karate

roadskater's picture

Once again roller speedskating is trying to get into the Olympics, already being considered an Olympic Sport as referenced here...
http://www.olympic.org/uk/sports/recognized/index_uk.asp

...with the official federation, Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS), being listed here...
http://www.olympic.org/uk/organisation/if/fi_uk.asp?Id_federation=56

...its main site being...
www.rollersports.org

You can write a 1000-word contribution (two per person allowed) to the International Olympic Committee's "Virtual Olympic Congress" and enter the competition to win one of...

20 invitations (1 per winner) to the Olympic Congress in October 2009 in Copenhagen in Denmark, including economy airfare and local accommodation and meals.
http://www.2009congress.olympic.org/en/Pages/RulesOfThePublic.aspx

This would be a great way to support roadskating or indoor rollerskating or both. The IOC seems to want our input, and who knows but what this might factor into votes for individual sports. We have a great sport that is much loved by the young, is environmentally friendly, and inexpensive to begin on an amateur level, and relatively inexpensive for prefessional participation compared with many sports. The need for officials and special use facilities is relatively low as well if done as an outdoor event.

Were I to write a piece or two, I would likely consult this document...and focus on Olympism and youth...I think we could write killer pieces about how making roller sports an Olympic sport would increase active participation of youth in sports, as kids love to skate and seeing it get Olympic attention has definitely driven inline skaters to become speedskaters. 

http://www.2009congress.olympic.org/_layouts/SH/Textes/Call_for_Contribu...

Further, long track ice speedskating has been successful since the first Winter Olympics in 1924 (1960 for women, sorry), and short track since 1992. The popularity of these winter sports alone should speak well for inclusion of the summer versions. 

Also, skating is a practical form of transportation in a world buzzing about active transportation alternatives. Like cycling, it makes wonderful use of the wheel to multiply the efficiency and speed of human powered travel. 

The 2005 proposal for roller sports (and all other sports) is here...starting at page 201 of the pdf file...
http://multimedia.olympic.org/pdf/en_report_953.pdf

It is clear they were emphasizing indoor short races, mentioning outdoor longer events as a possibility, but saying shorter events were preferred for being more exciting and television-friendly. Too bad. A 42K (26.2 mile) marathon would be incredible and incredibly easy to run on the same course as the running marathon. Cycling road courses could be used as well of course. And of course, a parking lot works for plenty of good racing even for 42K for plenty of events.

Looking into it further, roller sports didn't really come close in 2005. I think a slightly better proposal might have helped, but I'm biased of course to outdoor skating (and think the event would be less expensive and more exciting for summer games). The best part of the proposal to me was this info about ticket sales at the World Championships. I'm not sure the locations, but they state...

Once again roller speedskating is trying to get into the Olympics, already being considered an Olympic Sport as referenced here...
http://www.olympic.org/uk/sports/recognized/index_uk.asp

...with the official federation, Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS), being listed here...
http://www.olympic.org/uk/organisation/if/fi_uk.asp?Id_federation=56

...its main site being...
http://www.rollersports.org

Check out other sports that have been part of the games in the past...
http://www.olympic.org/uk/sports/past/index_uk.asp

The 2005 proposal for roller sports (and all other sports) is here...starting at page 201 of the pdf file...
http://multimedia.olympic.org/pdf/en_report_953.pdf

It is clear they were emphasizing indoor short races, mentioning outdoor longer events as a possibility, but saying shorter events were preferred for being more exciting and television-friendly. Too bad. A 42K (26.2 mile) marathon would be incredible and incredibly easy to run on the same course as the running marathon. Cycling road courses could be used as well of course. And of course, a parking lot works for plenty of good racing even for 42K for plenty of events.

Looking into it further, roller sports didn't really come close in 2005. I think a slightly better proposal might have helped, but I'm biased of course to outdoor skating (and think the event would be less expensive and more exciting for summer games). The best part of the proposal to me was this info about ticket sales at the World Championships. I'm not sure the locations, but they state...

  • 100% of the 50,000 tickets available were sold at the 2003 World Championships.
  • 100% of the 24,000 tickets available were sold at the 2002 World Championships.
  • 100% of the 18,000 tickets available were sold at the 2001 World Championships.
  • 100% of the 50,000 tickets available were sold at the 2000 World Championships.
    [http://multimedia.olympic.org/pdf/en_report_953.pdf]

In any case, the voting for new sports is pretty cool how it happens. The lowest vote-getter is eliminated until one sport gets over half the vote. Then the vote starts again with the other sports, with the same elimation process. Here's how it went. Note how well Roller Sports started. [Source: http://www.olympic.org/uk/news/events/117_session/full_story_uk.asp?id=1437 with my comments within.]

 
Selection of Two Sports for Nomination
  First Round
  • Karate: 23
  • Roller Sports: 20
  • Rugby: 17
  • Squash: 16
  • Golf: 14

But how we did not gain any votes in the second round, so it was not second favorite of any of the golf voters (assuming no other changes in voting). Karate gained 4, rugby 5, squash 5, of the extra 14 to be had.

  Second Round

  • Karate: 27
  • Rugby: 22
  • Squash: 21
  • Roller Sports: 20
So roller sports (inline skating) were out in the second round. Sad! But the good news is that the future of inline skating is very bright in booming societies, and in many of the future Summer Olympics hopeful cities.

  Third Round
  • Karate: 33
  • Squash: 29
  • Rugby: 25
  Fourth Round
  • Squash: 40
  • Karate: 39
  Squash is elected as one of the two nominees.
 
So the second sport is begun to be selected, and it looks like squash voters also like karate and rugby, with a couple adding to the roller sports vote.
 
  Fifth Round
  • Karate: 32
  • Rugby: 23
  • Roller Sports: 22
  • Golf: 15

So golf drops out in the first round of the second sport vote.

  Sixth Round

  • Karate: 35
  • Rugby: 33
  • Roller Sports: 28

...and inline skating drops out again in the second subround.

  Seventh Round

  • Karate: 54
  • Rugby: 38

  Karate is elected as one of the two nominees.  

So that means the IOC votes on squash and karate, where it takes 2/3 majority to include a sport...

Vote on the Inclusion of Squash in Rule 46 of the Olympic Charter
Yes: 39
No: 63
Squash is not included in Rule 46 of the Olympic Charter
 
Vote on the Inclusion of Karate on Rule 46 of the Olympic Charter
Yes: 38
No: 63
Karate is not included in Rule 46 of the Olympic Charter

With all that voting, the two sports did not enter in the 2005 vote. Let's hope roller will do better this time, for the world of youth are coming to the sport in Asia, Europe and Central and South America, especially it seems. In fact, it seems that where population is dense and growing, inline skating has a bright future. No, I don't have any more statistics or facts, just the feel I am getting. Short track ice successes in Asia have been important for growth of inline, and vice versa, I think.

Locations

Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports
Viale Tiziano 74
Roma 00196
Italy
Phone: 39.06 36858543
Fax: 39.06.36858211
41° 55' 50.1456" N, 12° 28' 8.1912" E
International Olympic Commitee
Château de Vidy
Lausanne 1007
Switzerland
Phone: (+41 21) 621 61 11
Fax: (+41 21) 621 62 16

Comments

roadskater's picture

Only a Majority Vote Required for New 2016 Summer Games Sports

There's news about the two new sports that MAY be allowed in the 2016 Summer Games...first hints will come in mid-August...

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said on Friday the executive board will analyze the seven applicant sports and then propose two at an IOC meeting in Berlin this summer.
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/2009-03-27-3983495423_x.htm


Also, it could be easier this time, and I may have missed a crucial detail...

Rugby sevens, squash, golf, karate and roller sports were each considered for inclusion in the 2005 vote but none met a required two-thirds majority. Since then, the system has been changed to require only a simple majority for addition of new sports.
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/2009-03-27-3983495423_x.htm

I still think other sports have the advantage based on past votes, but this is a good step, the reduction in the level of majority required for new sports to get in.

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