Should Olympic sports be limited to those which require physical exertion?


Staff Member
Something which I have often pondered when I see some of the sports included in the Olympics, should they be limited to those which require physical exertion?

Shooting and archery for example both obviously require skill and dedication, but then so does darts and that's not included.

The line between what is and isn't a sport became blurred a long time ago and it's difficult now to know which is and which isn't.
I think it should be limited to amateur sports which is why I don't agree with things like football and tennis being in it rowing is fine as those people have their day jobs such as being in the army, don't get me wrong I don't mind a competitor being sponsored that is not the same as being a professorial sports person..
Bro I am glad you have raised this as it is some thing that has be in my mind for many years and indead the subject of discussion in my office during the olympics.

What is worthy of being an olympic sport ?

In my mind all these 'activities' come into either 'sport' or 'past times' catergories

Some 'activities' are pure 'skill' most require a mixiture of 'skill and 'physical'

It is the 'activies' that are a mix that I personally regard as true sports.

Darts, Golf, Shooting, Snooker... these require pure skill.. nothing else... these are 'past times'

'activities' that require strength, stamina, technique and skill are sports.

But I have a disclaimer. Not all sports are olympic sports. I personally believe thats some professional sports that are played all year round and specifically the sports which have 'majors' and 'world cups' should not be included in the olympics. Some of these 'sports' are not in the olympics such as Snooker, Golf and Rugby but others such as Tennis and Football are That is not right they already have their big 'gold' events, by comparison the olympics are a 'minor' . Go figure.
The list of sports recognised by the IOC is actually quite bizarre and includes things like Chess and Dancing. (for a full list there is an article about it on Wiki). As to what should be in or out, I can't believe Golf got voted back in to be honest unless those who represent their countries are Amateur? The problem for me is that there is no longer such a thing as an Amateur sports man/women. If you look at the cyclists as an example, they almost all race outside of Olympic events for fully professional outfits. Just 20 years ago, when Chris Boardman won his gold at Barcelona he retired from Amateur cycling and turned professional to race in the Tour De France. None of the Tennis players and football players are amateur so it takes away a great deal from the so called spirit of the Olympics.

As for Archery. I love watching it so, no that should stay. Plus, you apparently have to be quite strong to pull back the string. It's some 60lbs of force so I'm told.
I have a problem with subjective sports at the Olympics and may of those involve physical exertion - artistic gymnastics, synchronised swimming, diving etc. At least with archery and shooting the reason someone won is pretty clear cut as they scored more points.
I don't think I have an issue between physical and non-physical - even between exciting and alternative to watching grass grow, I'm not forced to watch, and I like cricket, but hate golf on TV, but flip side with playing.

I agree with FB, there should be a subjective basis for scoring.

I think the one I have issue with is Professional and Amateur. The Olympics is an Amateur event - look at Boxing as a prime example of the types of competitors that are allowed to take part.

What on earth is going on with Football and Tennis allowing professionals to take part - there may be the claim that they are there on an amateur basis, however I'm sure I've heard either Murray or some interviewer referring to Olympic Gold as the highlight of his Career...
If professionals were truly outlawed, none of the old-time USSR athletes could have competed. You had 14-year-old girl gymnasts that were colonels in the Soviet Army.
I'm uncomfortable with the subjective sports too, but for the sake of the spectacle I like the eclectic selection on show. The changes in the sports included over time are a form of social history too. Boxing and equestrian will be gone in the next 50 years most likely, if not before.
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