Olympics 5-Point Plan: Point 5

So far I’ve suggested that the Olympics:

  • disregard nationalities
  • award more medals for each event, possibly 8.
  • reduce the chances of multiple medaling
  • favor objectively measured sport
  • include only the sports for which the Olympics is the pinnacle

The final point concerns team sports. With nationalities out of the picture then the composition of teams will also be on a non-national basis. Will that be so difficult?

Certainly where the team has just the two members, for example, doubles tennis and beach volleyball, these sports already have mixed nationalities competing together, for tennis it’s the norm, no-one cares. This is the way it should be. In fact for pairs skating we sometimes see the ridiculous situation of individuals changing nationality in order to skate with their chosen partner. Taking nationalities out of the equation would seem to be only natural.

In many other cases the team event is simply an amalgamation of individual scores, as in gymnastics. These are not true team events and should be scrapped.

But this leaves a number of team sports with a history of national teams, like hockey, handball, basketball, football. As mentioned in Point 4 I feel that sports for which the Olympics is not the pinnacle, and is merely another event clogging up the calendar, should not be in the Olympics. This is obviously true of basketball and football. I can see an argument for women’s football, where the Olympics is a very high priority, but the women’s World Cup is getting massive.

For the few remaining team sports I concede there will need to be different solutions for different sports. Perhaps the sport has well-established clubs, so that would be an obvious answer, or perhaps the existing associations could send representative teams, but nationality would not be the deciding factor.

The question arises of whether the Olympics needs change. There is no doubt that it has changed considerably since 1896, and it will either change or stagnate. No change is not an option. The debate must be how much change.

I have suggested some radical proposals which I believe would slim down the Olympics (making it more affordable for a wider range of host cities), would make the Olympics fairer, would have the effect of reducing the incidence of doping and would also make the Olympics even more of a spectacle in which the spectators will better appreciate the wonder of sport. Looks like progress to me.

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