Skip to main content
Original Issue

The Pitch for 2016

WOMEN'S SKIJUMPING isn't the only event hoping to be added to the Olympic program. Lastweek seven summer sports officially petitioned the IOC for inclusion in the2016 Games. The final vote will be in October. Here's how they stack up:

SOFTBALL: Dumpedfrom the Games after 2008 in part because of a perceived lack of competition.Is It Worthy? Yes. Japan's upset of the U.S. in Beijing showed there's morethan one world power. Odds: 2--1.

SQUASH: The racketsport nearly made it onto the London schedule in a 2005 IOC vote. Is It Worthy?Yes. Played in 175 countries—and contested at the All-Africa Games and theAsian Games—it's one of the world's most popular sports. Odds: 4--1.

BASEBALL: Alsodropped after Beijing, in part because of an absence of big names. But theInternational Baseball Federation submitted a plan that would allow bigleaguers to participate in a five-day tournament. Is It Worthy? With the WorldBaseball Classic up and running, is it really necessary? Odds: 6--1.

KARATE: Wouldinclude five weight classes each for men and women. Is It Worthy? With boxing,judo, taekwondo and wrestling on the program, it's combat-sport overkill. Odds:7--1.

RUGBY SEVENS: Theminiversion of the 15-man sport is quite popular, especially in Commonwealthnations. Is It Worthy? It was nixed for the London Games, which would have beena far more natural fit. Odds: 9--1.

GOLF: Tiger Woods,who will be 40 in 2016, is pushing for it, but venue costs can be prohibitive.Is It Worthy? If there's one thing the Games need, it's not middle-aged men inslacks. Odds: 12--1.

ROLLER SPORTS:Only races—not hockey or artistic events—are up for consideration. Is ItWorthy? Roller derby: maybe. Roller racing: not as exciting. Odds: 15--1.