The Olympics: A time to celebrate athletes from around the world for two weeks. During the summer games, athletes in track & field, judo, wrestling, and many more compete for a gold medal and pride for their countries.
There’s also athletes in equestrian, synchronized swimming, and race walking that compete for the hearts of millions around the world.
Pause for a moment, did you read those last three sports? People riding on horses (the horses are the real athletes here and they get no love), dancing in the water, and walking quick but not jogging. We make fun of race walkers pretty much on a daily basis (especially when they take a number 2) and they’re an olympic sport?
And not lacrosse!?
And thus, my argument for the inclusion of lacrosse for the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad, otherwise known as the 2024 Summer Olympics.
This began last week in an AOL.com article about why it should be in the Olympics. It was a pretty good article, and I couldn’t believe I was reading something from AOL.com in 2016. It’s like if Ja Rule or 98 Degrees made a pretty decent record and they had a semi-renaissance.
Corey McLaughlin of Lacrosse Magazine had a good post about the path the sport has taken in order to be considered for the Olympic games.
Like Golf, it’s been in the Olympics before, making appearances in 1904 and 1908 and Canada winning gold twice. They had Tug of War back then too. It’s been a long time. It was a demonstration event in 1948, the last time it appeared in the Olympics.
Currently, the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) has a total of 55 members, including China, Haiti, Peru, and our favorite, Uganda. The IOC requires 50 affiliated countries across three continents in order for consideration. The FIL has achieved that, and is still growing with each passing year.
We won’t know who will host the 2024 games until next September, but it’s down to Budapest, Rome, Paris, and Los Angeles. If you want to see lacrosse in 2024, you are rooting hard and strong for the “City of Angels” to get the bid.
New Olympic organizing committee rules introduced through Olympic Agenda 2020 in 2014 allow host cities to propose locally enjoyed sports that meet IOC criteria to be included at their Games. The IOC must approve the sports by an all-members vote.
Future Summer Games host cities beginning with 2024 will be able to propose their own selection of sports – Budapest, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome are currently in the running for those Games.
Lacrosse is much more popular in the United States than in Hungary, France, and Italy. Plus, L.A. is part of a growing west region, especially in California, where the sport is starting to become popular.
It will start in 2017 at the International World Games Association (IWGA) in Wroclaw, Poland. This can serve as a showcase for future games to be selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Here were the sports that wanted to be in the 2020 Summer Olympics, but didn’t get selected, with the three sports that just missed out in bold:
World Air Sports Federation – FAI
International Federation of American Football – IFAF
World Confederation of Billiards Sports – WCBS
Bowls Sports World Confederation – CMSB
World Bowling – WB
World Bridge Federation – WBF
World Chess Federation – FIDE
World DanceSport Federation – WDSF
International Floorball Federation – IFF
World Flying Disc Federation – WFDF
International Korfball Federation – IKF
International Netball Federation – INF
International Orienteering Federation – IOF
Federation of International Polo – FIP
International Racquetball Federation – IRF
World Squash Federation – WSF
International Sumo Federation – IFS
Tug of War International Federation – TWIF
World Underwater Federation – CMAS
International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation – IWWF
International Wushu Federation – IWUF
First off, tug of war has an international federation. It’s still looking for love.
Now, what to think of this list? If bridge, chess, or dancesport get in before lacrosse, which requires you to move and be active like most sports, that’s a crime against humanity. Like, dancesport is pretty much a professional version of Dancing With The Stars, just without the stars. It should never be a sport.
I imagine if Los Angeles gets the bid, there’s going to be a huge push for american football in the Olympics, because who doesn’t like football in this country. And besides, that’s a guaranteed gold medal for the United States.
But here’s the criteria that the Tokyo 2020 committee used:
The Tokyo 2020 committee listed the following criteria for new sports: added value; youth appeal; attractiveness for TV, media and the general public; gender equality; minimum impact on the number of events and/or quotas, infrastructure and operational costs and complexity.
I’m pretty sure lacrosse would be a great fit under this criteria, even over football. We wouldn’t be talking just men’s lacrosse, but also women’s. And maybe, beach lacrosse?
If lacrosse gets into the Olympics, it would be as exciting as some of the popular sports like basketball, track & field, and swimming, and as face-paced as handball, maybe even quicker.
Lacrosse is an ideal sport for the Olympics. And it’s actually a sport too where people run around and use their physical muscles to do things!
Plus, our athletes don’t destroy gas stations after a night out and then lie about it.
Stick to your day job as the Snow Miser.