The International Olympic Committee voted today in favor of a more flexible sports program that scraps the limit of 28 sports at the Summer Games. They want to move to an “events-based” system that would allow new competitions as long as there are about 10,500 athletes and 310 medal events over all.
In addition to baseball and softball, the International Olympic Committee’s move to allow new sports could see squash and karate (as well as others) join the Olympic roster. But, in order to make room for the new events, some existing Summer Games events will have to be axed to ensure that there are no more than 10,500 athletes. On the list of potential events to be axed- EQUESTRIAN EVENTS!! That’s right, Equestrian Events could be eliminated from the 2020 Tokyo Games. No one cares about “race walking” and “synchronized swimming” (also on the list of potential sports to be axed), away with them. But Equestrian events? Apparently some Olympics watchers question the value of equestrian events. They site the reliance on horses, coupled with the high cost of competition. Critics are especially arguing that dressage “is more about skill than athletic ability” and should thus, be excluded from the Games. I guess they meant to say “more about the skill of the horse than athletic ability”? Otherwise, goodbye sharp shooting and archery. I don’t know where you draw the line between animal/machine vs. human athletic ability. I mean I suppose bobsledders sprint a little, but the rest is just holding on for dear life and leaning a bit.
In the end, I’m sure it will all be determined by t.v. ratings. They will most likely look at ratings from years past and see which events garnered the fewest viewers. If that’s the case, I’m guessing “jumping” will win out over dressage- just a hunch 😉 There’s no way to protest this decision, so we’ll just have to see what the 2020 Tokyo Games brings Equestrian fans. Sorry folks, but it could be sayonara dressage!