Seven sports make pitch for 2016 Olympic status

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Associated Press
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
— With seven sports vying for inclusion in the 2016 Summer Games, Colin Montgomerie and Annika Sorenstam delivered the message Monday that winning an Olympic gold medal in golf would be as important as winning a major.

Montgomerie, the European Ryder Cup captain, and Sorenstam, the Swedish great who retired last year after winning 10 majors, were the biggest names on hand when the sports federations made pitches to the International Olympic Committee executive board.

Baseball, softball, rugby sevens, roller sports, squash and karate also put their case to the board, which will meet in Berlin on Aug. 13 to select two sports to put forward for ratification at the IOC general assembly in Copenhagen in October.

Golf and rugby sevensóa shortened version of the more established 15-a-side gameóhave emerged as the favorites for acceptance. The IOCís final decision will be made on Oct. 9, seven days after the 2016 host city is selected from Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

In a new twist, the IOC said Monday that even those five sports that fail to make the cut in August will be invited to Copenhagen. If the two recommended sports fail to win majority approval from the IOC assembly, itís possible the other five could still get a chance to be voted onto the program, IOC sports director Christophe Dubi said.

Softball and baseball are seeking a return to the Olympics after being voted off the program for the 2012 London Games in 2005. The other five failed to win enough votes for inclusion in 2005.

Last updated: 10:41 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

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