Tokyo 2020 saw the inclusion of sports such as sport climbing, skateboarding, karate and baseball as part of the Olympics which is now postponed due to the pandemic. Fans of these sports are eagerly waiting to see athletes compete in these new additions but there are many other fans who wish to see their sport included in the Olympics. Here is a list of those sports that are yet to be part of the Olympics.
Squash is very popular in India and is followed by many people recreationally as well as professionally. Commonwealth Games held in 2014 saw Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa score India’s first gold medal in Squash. This audience is not just limited to India but across the world and would help the Olympics attract a global audience if they choose to adopt it as a sport. Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal have broke into the top 20 and top 10 respectively in terms of PSA World Squash rankings and could inspire a new generation of racket wielders if it saw inclusion in the Olympics.
Originally known as chaturanga in 7th century India, chess is today a worldwide phenomenon. Chess however is one of the very few sports to be affected by the pandemic which would make it a great addition to the Olympics since players train mentally. Chess boards are a thing of the past with online matches being the norm during this pandemic. Players like Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen and Garry Kasparov are regarded as legends in chess matches and young talent in chess is coming up all over the world which would provide a different challenge compared to physical sports.
Kabaddi is a sport native to India which makes athletes train in aspects unlike many other sports. A Kabaddi player has to train for stamina, endurance, strength and flexibility to ensure a successful raid and defense. Though initially restricted to India, it is now popular around the world with countries like Iran, Canada, Afghanistan and much more taking part in the sport. An inclusion in the Olympics would put this Indian sport on a global scale which would give athletes all over the world a unique challenge and a wide audience.
Cricket once was part of the Olympics in Paris 1900 where England won against France. This sport has a massive, passionate fan base all over the world and would increase viewership of the Olympics. Cricket also has seen participation from many countries in the world cup and could possibly develop interest of the sport in those countries where it hasn’t been introduced yet. In a country like India where cricket is religiously followed by many who play as well as watch, it could help inspire upcoming cricketers to win medals for the country.
Polo is a team based equestrian sport that has lasted for centuries. What initially began as training for cavalry units in war became an Olympic sport that saw its debut at Paris 1900 Olympics till its end in Berlin 1936. Modern polo is massively followed in India, the United States, Argentina and Britain. It saw a short revival as a demonstration sport at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics and could do well at the quadrennial event considering the sport’s history and participation in many countries.
Bowling is a fun recreational activity that sees a lot of participation from groups of friends hanging out to professional players leaving a mark at the Asian Games. It was part of the Seoul Olympics in 1988 as a demonstration sport but has since struggled to qualify as an Olympic sport. Bowling was meant to be part of Tokyo 2020 Olympics but was left out along with Wushu and saw the inclusion of skateboarding and karate as part of the now postponed Olympics
MMA saw a brief entry in India with the advent of Super Fight League; a reality mixed martial arts show. Fans and MMA practitioners in India are avid watchers of UFC, One FC among many fighting championships but are unable to be a direct part of the sport. An Olympic stage MMA championship would bring in a global audience to watch the Olympics ranging from fight enthusiasts to seasoned martial artists who could cheer on their representing athletes and learn more about martial arts that are native to many countries around the world. It would also encourage MMA in India as a sport.
Esports was the one kind of sports that did not stop despite the lockdown. Online gladiators fought alongside their teammates in various competitions and saw an increase in players and audience which makes it a viable sport for the Olympics. There are many benefits of esports being added as it is Para-athlete friendly, does not require good genetics or training at a young age compared to many other sports and has a vast online community with free games to participate in. With Indian teams participating in global tournaments of PUBG Mobile, India is sure to win a medal if esports become part of the Olympics.
Ultimate, formerly known as Ultimate Frisbee is a team sport based on the childhood game that many people across the world share joy in. Players switch through phases of offense and defense and points are scored when a team catches the disc at the opposition team’s end zone, making it a low contact sport. It provides a bigger challenge when considering environmental factors such as wind, sun and rain and requires athletic abilities similar to many Olympic sporting events. It could see participation in the Olympics from around the world as the flying disc is popular.
Lacrosse is a non contact sport that requires a high level of fast reflexes, agility and skill. Though highly popular in North America, it has seen participation from Czech Republic, England, Japan, Australia and Hong Kong. It is a demanding sport which demands the best performance from athletes, making it a perfect sport for the Olympics which will only showcase the best talents of the world on the stage.
Also read: 10 most successful countries at the Olympics