IOC Executive Board to Recommend All Core Sports–Including Equestrian–Remain in Olympics for 2016

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BERLIN, Aug. 13–The International Olympic Committee Executive Board announced Thursday it is recommending maintaining the 26 core Olympic sports–including equestrian–and the additions of golf and rugby for the 2016 Games.

Jacque Rogge, IOC president. Photo: Courtesy IOC
Jacque Rogge, IOC president. Photo: Courtesy IOC

The proposal will be submitted to the full International Olympic Committee at its meeting in Copenhagen in October.

“The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) proposed today the list of 26 core sports and 2 additional sports, golf and rugby, to be included in the 2016 Olympic Program,” the IOC said in a news release.

“The proposal will be submitted to the full IOC for a final decision at its Session in Copenhagen in October, where golf and rugby will have the opportunity to present. Seven sports — baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby, softball and squash — were seeking to enter the Olympic program. The secret ballot vote by the EB followed an extensive evaluation by the Olympic Program.”

IOC President Jacques Rogge, who did not to take part in the vote, said: “Golf and rugby will be a great addition to the Games.”

There was no proposal to remove any of the core sports which include equestrian that was first included in the Olympics in 1912.

However, equestrian is the only Olympic sport where animals and humans are the “athlete” and one of the few in which males and females compete directly against each other on equal terms.

The relatively high costs of creating equestrian facilities, transportation of horses, and other issues have raised some concerns in recent years as to the future of horse sports in the Olympics.

The construction of equestrian facilities at Greenwich for the London Olympics in 2012 have met with some local opposition.

The IOC announced some proposed changes in existing sports for 2012, but none of them involved equestrian.

The site of the 2016 summer Olympics has not been selected.