The Tokyo Olympics have sparked much controversy since their postponement a year ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Many Japanese were not in favor of holding the games as infection rates remain a concern.
Still, the games officially started on July 23 and will end on August 8, 2021. For the current Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has added baseball / softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing on the sports program.
Once again, the IOC has shown its bias towards developed countries. It seems that the voices of developing countries are ignored when new sporting events are included.
IOC President Thomas Bach said the five sports are an innovative combination of established and emerging youth-focused events that are popular in Japan and will add to the legacy of the Tokyo Games.
Are you okay? No, it’s another setback for the Olympics to be a more inclusive meeting point of what is meant to be the convergence of sports fraternity around the world.
Only certain countries will benefit from the registration of these new sporting events at the Tokyo Olympics. Their inclusion adds to the divide between rich and developing countries, as only a handful of countries will dominate most of these new sports.
Obviously, Bach and the IOC view the world of sport with a myopic outlook. It is time for them to consider sport from a global perspective and not just the sports of rich countries.
Squash was one of eight sports recommended by Tokyo organizers but failed to make the final list of five. Could the IOC justify the exclusion of squash when, according to the World Squash Federation, this sport is played in more than 185 countries.
He laughs at the Olympics when baseball, skateboarding and sport climbing are included and squash is denied a spot at the Olympics.
Is it fair that a sport like beach volleyball is considered an Olympic sport, but that a skillful sport like sepak takraw, which originated in Southeast Asia and a sport of the Sea Games, be excluded? After all, Southeast Asia is a region home to over 660 million people.
Badminton was not included in the Olympics until the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. Could the IOC provide a rational explanation why badminton has been excluded from the Olympics for so long, given that the first championship of the Thomas Cup World Team Badminton took place in 1948?
There are two Olympics every four years – the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics. Not all countries can participate in the Winter Olympics, because only countries that experience winter can be successful in these sporting events.
Shouldn’t the Winter Olympics then be downgraded and simply called the Winter Games, because only a limited number of countries can participate? Perhaps the IOC could explain why the term Winter Olympics is used instead of Winter Games? Is it because the Olympic Winter Games are dominated by wealthy countries?
If the Olympics fail to demonstrate a spirit of fairness and impartiality, then they draw parallels with politics when some parties display their influence over others. We certainly don’t want that to happen, do we?