The IOC has spoken; see this...
I.O.C. Decision Draws Cheers and Complaints From Athletes
By JEFF Z. KLEIN
Female boxers were pleased, as were golfers and rugby players. But athletes in other sports with Olympic aspirations — including baseball, softball and karate — were left feeling snubbed Thursday when Olympic officials made some decisions on what games would be played at the Games.
“I’m thrilled,” said Christy Halbert, the chairwoman of USA Boxing’s women’s task force, regarding the International Olympic Committee’s executive board vote to include women’s boxing in the 2012 Summer Games in London. “This has been a long road. I’m so happy that women boxers will finally be able to participate on the world’s most prestigious stage.”
The board also recommended that rugby and golf be included in the program for the 2016 Games, rejecting baseball, karate, roller sports, softball and squash.
“I’d love to play for the rugby team — that would be great,” Tiger Woods said, drawing laughter at his news conference after completing the first round of the P.G.A. Championship in Chaska, Minn. “No. 1, I think it’s great for golf,” he added. “We’re long overdue to have it in the Olympics. Our sport is a global sport.”
The I.O.C. board’s decisions were less satisfying for those involved with sports that were left out.
“Definitely not how I wanted to wake up this morning,” said Ashley Hansen, 19, a member of the United States softball team.
“This sport will continue to grow — it’s come so far in the last 10 years,” said Hansen, who made the national team this summer for the first time. “Everybody is just heartbroken; softball deserves to be there. But we’re optimistic. International play will continue.”
Cheryl K. Murphy, 30, who has won two silver medals in karate for the United States in international competitions, said the ruling was “absolutely crazy.”
“Karate takes a lot of mental, spiritual and physical strength just to compete — it’s really the ultimate Olympic sport. Disappointment is not even the word to describe how I feel.”
Luke St. Onge, the chief executive of the National Karate-Do Federation, pointed out that his sport finished third in the voting. “Rugby and golf are money-intensive,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s wrong, but for television those two sports would be much more attractive than if we were there.”
Murphy said that younger karate athletes would have to decide whether to stick with the sport for at least another eight years if they wanted to compete in the Olympics. Cat Osterman, another United States softball player, had a similar reaction.
“The way we look at it is that it’s going to be a year-by-year decision as to whether we keep playing or not,” Osterman, 26, told Universal Sports. “We don’t know what our funding is going to be now that we are out of the Olympics.”
Harvey Schiller, who vigorously lobbied for baseball on behalf of the International Baseball Federation, was also left reflecting on an effort that came up short.
“On behalf of the millions of people who play the game at every stage, I’m personally disappointed that they won’t have a chance to participate,” he said. “Baseball is the only sport not on the Olympic program that also is the national sport of so many countries.”
Even some women’s boxers were not fully satisfied. They were upset with the I.O.C. decision to use only three weight classes while excluding seven others.
“It’s a Catch-22,” said Marlen Esparza, 20, a three-time national champion and ranked No. 1 in her 106-pound weight class, which was not included in the 2012 Olympic program. “On the one hand, I’m really happy that women boxers have gotten their foot in the door, but on the other hand, it’s really disappointing for me and for so many other boxers.”
Pat Borzi contributed reporting.