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Top 6 Sports Snubbed By The Olympics

On September 28, Japan released its wish list for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo: five sports that organizers would like to see the International Olympic Committee add to the program. They are skateboarding, surfing, baseball/softball, sport climbing, and karate.

The Tokyo organizers made their selections from a list of eight sports drawn from 26 federations that were given consideration from the IOC, which will finalize the program in August, 2016.

The three sports that didn't make the cut are squash, bowling, and the martial arts sport wushu - all of which have never made the Olympics. Here's an overview of those sports and three others that have never made the Olympics.


The biggest upset in the short list is squash, which is played in more than 185 countries. Narayana Ramachandran, president of the World Squash Federation, was "devastated" to learn that their bid was unsuccessful, but in his official statement, he pledged to continue fighting for the sport's olympic debut.


Is bowling a sport? Its place among pastimes has long been debated. Those clamouring for recognition among other sports suffered a major blow when the sport was dropped from the proposed additions to the Tokyo lineup.

While the thought of pins and lanes may conjure up images of slackers like "The Dude" and Homer Simpson, the game has an illustrious history involving another Homer.

Bowling may have first been played in ancient Egypt, and there may be references to it in Homer's Iliad. It was played by monks in the middle ages, and arrived in America in the 19th century, but it's never been part of the Olympics aside from a feature as an exhibition sport in the 1988 Olympiad (Seoul).


Wushu may be the least recognizable sport on this list, but the part gymnastics/part martial-arts event is 100 percent thrilling. After watching the clip above, you'll probably join the movement to have the event (which is gaining interest in Africa and the Americas) added to the Olympics.


Baseball's British cousin was slated for the first modern Olympics in 1896 (Athens), but it was canceled when too few teams entered to compete. In 1900, it was played in the Paris Olympiad with four teams (England, France, Belgium and Holland) scheduled to play. However, the latter two withdrew, turning the only match the gold-medal round by default.

So cricket has appeared in the Olympics, but it's never been properly contested. Now that the sport has become popular in Australia, India, South Africa, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the world, the IOC might want to take another crack at it.

Billiards and Snooker

Both cue-sports are recognized by the IOC, but they've never been made into official events - or even demonstrations. In January 2015, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association partnered with the World Confederation of Billiard Sports to line up a shot at making their events part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Their efforts failed, but the bid was a major step toward getting the event included in the Olympic program someday.

Speed Skiing

The fastest, non-motorized sport on the planet isn't part of the Olympics - yet.

Speed skiing is exactly what it sounds like: a race to the bottom of a hill. But if the setup seems unimpressive, consider the results: competitors like Simone Origone (Italy) thrill spectators by reaching speeds of 156 miles per hour. According to Tanya Lewis of Live Science, Origone is racing about 37 miles per hour faster than the terminal velocity of skydiving.

However, the sport became controversial after Nicholas Bochatay, a Swiss speed skier, died during an exhibition event at the 1992 games in Albertville.

It'll likely take time for the sport to overcome that image as a dangerous event before it finds its way into an Olympic program.

h/t BBC, Live Science, Reuters


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