Wrestling and other sports to make 2020 Olympic bids
4:35 PM, May 29, 2013
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) - The International Olympic Committee executive board on Wednesday is expected to recommend a shortlist from which the full IOC membership should choose one sport in September:
-- Now united as the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) after IOC vote defeats in 2005 and `09. Then, both ran for inclusion as separate Olympic sports.
-- Bid proposes separate men's baseball and women's softball events of eight teams each, played as back-to-back six-day tournaments.
-- With 296 total athletes, would add substantially to the overall Summer Games quota compared to other bidding sports.
-- Both were last played at 2008 Beijing Games -- having gained full medal status at the 1992 Barcelona Games (baseball) and 1996 Atlanta Games (softball).
-- Both were dropped from the 2012 program in a 2005 vote, then failed to be readmitted four years later when IOC members chose golf and seven-a-side rugby.
-- Baseball previously criticized for not delivering top players to the Olympics. Unlike the NHL's concession to the Winter Games, MLB commissioner Bud Selig says the season won't be stopped to free players for the Summer Games.
-- Officials promoting the bid include WBSC vice president Antonio Castro, son of former Cuban president Fidel Castro.
-- Another third-time candidate after missing out in the 2005 and `09 IOC votes.
-- Originated in Japan and seeks to be the third combat martial art on the Olympic program after judo and taekwondo.
-- Came very close in 2005 when, along with squash, just failed to get support from two-thirds of IOC members in the final round. Four years later, golf and seven-a-side rugby were voted on to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games program.
-- World Karate Federation (WKF) is leading a campaign called "The K is on the Way."
-- First world championships held in 1970. WKF claims 10 million athletes in 185 countries.
-- Like karate and squash, roller sports is back for a third consecutive bid.
-- Bid presented by the International Roller Sports Federation (FIRS) and its Italian president Sabatino Aracu.
-- Olympic proposal features only inline skating speed races where athletes reach speeds up to 37 mph.
-- Proposal is for 10 medal races, five each for men and women, over sprint and marathon distances from 300 meters to 15 kilometers.
-- World championships held since 1937 and featured athletes from more than 100 countries last year.
-- 17 nations won medals at 2012 worlds held in Italy.
-- Athletes Cecilia Baena of Colombia and Kalon Dobbin of New Zealand will help make the presentation to the IOC board.
-- First-time bidder that proposes an event combining the three disciplines of speed climbing, lead climbing and bouldering.
-- Three disciplines, say bid supporters, together epitomize the Olympic motto: Faster, Higher, Stronger.
-- In lead climbing, competitors scale an artificial wall while secured by ropes as they traverse the route. No ropes are used in bouldering.
-- Bid presented by 81-nation World Climbing Federation (IFSC), representing 25 million climbers worldwide, led by President Marco Scolaris of Italy.
-- Bid will stress appeal to youth with athletes aged 20 on average, and unique look -- claiming that it looks unlike any other Olympic sport.
-- A young sport with first world championships held in 1991. However, mountaineering was a discipline in the Military Patrol event at the inaugural Winter Olympics held in 1924 at Chamonix, France.
-- Presentation in St. Petersburg is exactly 60 years -- May 29, 1953 -- since Edmund Hillary of New Zealand led the first expedition to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
-- Looked like the clear favorite until February, when wrestling joined this contest after being dropped by the IOC board as a core sport in Olympic program.
-- Just missed Olympic status in 2005 and then in `09, when golf and seven-a-side rugby were voted on.
-- World Squash Federation created in 1967, represents 185 countries with all five continents having produced men's and women's world champions.
-- Women's world No. 1 Nicol David of Malaysia and men's top-ranked player Ramy Ashour of Egypt will help present the bid to IOC board.
-- Proposals call for men's and women's tournaments, each of 32 players, played over five days.
-- Matches would be played in two glass courts, which could be set up in telegenic locations.
-- Modernized presentation by using video review for refereeing decisions, and showing replays to spectators on giant screens.
-- Bid has been supported by tennis superstars Roger Federer, Andre Agassi and Kim Clijsters in bid to join their sport and badminton as the third racket sport at the Olympics.
-- A first-time candidate hoping to profit from the IOC's wish to appeal to young athletes and audiences.
-- Bid proposed by the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation, founded in 1936 and now with almost 100 member countries. World championships held since 2000.
-- IWWF's Swiss president Kuno Ritschard hopes to link wakeboarding to the success and appeal of snowboarding in the Winter Games since 1998.
-- Wakeboarding requires a specially built cablepark to host competitions over two or three days.
-- Just 60 athletes -- 30 men, 30 women -- would be added to Summer Games quota.
-- Riders score up to a maximum of 100 performing tricks and jumps while pulled by cable on flatwater course. Seven judges give mark; athlete's score is the average of middle five.
-- Strong contender after the original Olympic sport was stunningly rejected in February. The IOC board had been predicted to drop modern pentathlon from the core program at the 2020 Summer Games.
-- Even the official IOC website acknowledges "with the possible exception of" track and field, "wrestling is recognized as the world's oldest competitive sport."
-- Governing body FILA reacted quickly to the IOC snub, which was seen as punishing complacent leadership as well as failings with the freestyle and Greco-Roman disciplines.
-- Serbian official Nenad Lalovic has won praise as new FILA president, elected after Swiss predecessor Raphael Martinetti was ousted within days of the IOC's rejection.
-- This month in Moscow, FILA members decided to modernize the sport by simplifying scoring, rewarding attacking tactics and increasing women's medal classes if Olympic status is retained.
-- FILA campaign has brought the United States and Iran together to support wrestling.
-- Russian President Vladimir Putin has supported the bid and is scheduled to meet with Olympic officials in St. Petersburg this week.
-- Presentation on Wednesday will include Jim Scherr, a former wrestler and one-time U.S. Olympic Committee CEO, and Canadian freestyle wrestler Carol Huynh, a medalist at past two Summer Games.
-- Another martial art, though wushu is proposing the noncombat artistic discipline for Olympic approval.
-- A likely outsider that would perhaps have a stronger chance going by its better known name of kung fu.
-- Wushu originated in China and retains its strong links there. The 119-nation International Wushu Federation (IWUF) was founded in China in 1990 and its president, Yu Zaiqing, is Chinese.
-- A wushu tournament was held in Beijing during the 2008 Summer Games to increase its visibility.
-- Bid proposes the technical form of wushu, known as taolu, in which athletes use swords and staffs to perform artistic moves.
-- Supporters compare wushu to gymnastics for its grace and artistic appeal, rather than contact martial arts such as karate, judo and taekwondo.