Maggie Hendricks

Hypocritical IOC backs rhythmic gymnastics, not softball

Maggie Hendricks
Fourth-Place Medal

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Before the broadcast of the rhythmic gymnastics all-around competition, NBC's Jim Lampley noted that the sport had been dominated by Europeans. It's true. Since Canadian Lori Fung won the inaugural gold medal in the boycotted-1984 Olympics, a non-European has not won another gold. Among the top ten athletes at this year's games, only three were not European, and they didn't break the top five.

Whether rhythmic gymnastics is a sport is debatable, though some bloggers have definitely made their opinions known. That's not really the point. Softball and baseball are being eliminated, in part, because the sports are not international enough and too dominated by North America. Taekwondo is also rumored to be on the chopping block because it is dominated by a small group of countries. The fact that this "sport" keeps its Olympic status shows the hypocrisy of the heavily-European IOC.

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