Why Are Some Sports Not in the Olympics?

Sports fans always look forward to the Olympics, but there are some sports that have never been in the Olympics. Here’s a look at why some sports are not in the Olympics.

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Reasons for sports not being in the Olympics

There are a number of reasons why some sports are not in the Olympics. The main reason is that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has to consider a sport’s popularity, global appeal, and whether it is widely practiced before it can be added to the Olympics. Other factors include whether the sport is too similar to other sports already in the Olympics, and whether it meets the IOC’s criteria for athleticism and fair play.

Lack of popularity

There are a number of reasons why some sports are not in the Olympics. One of the main reasons is lack of popularity. Some sports simply are not as popular as others and thus do not generate as much interest from athletes or viewers. Another reason is that some sports may be too dangerous or physical to be included in the Olympics. For example, boxing is a popular sport but it was only recently added back into the Olympics after being removed for several years due to concerns about safety. Finally, some sports may not meet the standards set by the International Olympic Committee for inclusion in the games. For example, Rugby Sevens was only added to the Olympics in 2016 after meeting a number of standards, including having a minimum of 60 national teams and being played in all continents.

Not a traditional Olympic sport

Sports are only added to the Olympics if they meet certain criteria, including being widely practiced around the world and being open to both sexes. While some sports like baseball and softball have been played in the Olympics in the past, they were removed due to a lack of interest from a majority of countries. In order for a sport to be added back in, it must first gain approval from the International Olympic Committee.

There are also sports that are not currently in the Olympics but could be added in the future. These sports are typically ones that are growing in popularity and could potentially meet all of the criteria for inclusion. Some examples of these sports include skateboarding, surfing, and climbing.

Not widely practiced

There are a few reasons why some sports aren’t in the Olympics. The first, and most common, is that the sport isn’t widely practiced around the world. For a sport to be eligible for the Olympics, it must be practiced by athletes in at least 75 countries on four continents.

Some sports don’t meet this requirement because they’re only popular in certain parts of the world. For example, cricket is only played competitively in a handful of countries, so it’s not eligible for the Olympics.

Other sports, like baseball and softball, used to be included in the Olympics but were removed because not enough countries were fielding competitive teams.

Sports that are close to being in the Olympics

The International Olympic Committee is responsible for adding and removing sports from the Olympics. They make these decisions based on a few factors, including popularity, global appeal, and the “fit” with the Olympics. There are a few sports that are close to being added to the Olympics, but they haven’t quite made the cut yet. Here are a few of those sports.


Surfing could be an official sport in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo if things go the International Surfing Association’s (ISA) way. The group has been petitioning to get surfing—along with skateboarding, karate, and baseball/softball—included in the games for years now, and it seems like their case is only getting stronger.

In September 2016, the IOC’s Olympic Channel released a short documentary series called The Style Games, which followed a group of professional surfers around the world. And just last month, the IOC announced that surfing would be one of five sports tested during the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires this October.

With skateboarding and surfing both set to make their Olympic debuts at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, could we see more action sports added to future Olympics? Only time will tell—but we’re definitely hoping so!


Skateboarding is a relatively new sport, which may be one of the reasons why it has not been added to the Olympics. It was created in the 1950s and started to gain popularity in the 1970s. Skateboarding will make its debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.


Even though Climbing was not included in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, it is a close candidate for future games. In 2016, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to include Climbing as a sport in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. However, due to the short timeframe, the IOC ultimately decided not to include it in the games.

Climbing is often overlooked as an official sport because it does not conform to traditional ideas of what a sport should be. For example, some people might argue that Climbing does not involve enough physical activity to be considered a sport. However, Climbing requires a great deal of strength, endurance, and mental focus. It also has a large global following; there are federations and competitions in many countries around the world.

The IOC has indicated that it is interested in including Climbing in future Olympic Games. The sport has been added to the program for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Reasons why these sports could be in the Olympics

There are many sports that are not in the Olympics but could be. These sports are typically not in the Olympics because they are not widely played or because they are not popular enough. Some sports, like rugby, are not in the Olympics because they are dangerous and could lead to injuries. Here are some sports that could be in the Olympics.

Increased popularity

There are many reasons why a sport may become popular enough to be added to the Olympics. One reason is simply that the sport becomes more popular over time. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as increased media coverage, new stars emerging in the sport, or the addition of new events that make the sport more accessible to a wider audience.

Another reason why a sport may become popular enough to be added to the Olympics is that it is already popular in other parts of the world, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) wants to add it in order to appeal to a wider global audience. For example, basketball was added to the Olympics in 1936 partly because it was already very popular in the United States.

A final reason why a sport may become popular enough to be added to the Olympics is that it is being promoted by one or more countries as part of their national identity. For example, curling was added to the Winter Olympics in 1998 partly because Canada had been promoting it as a “Canadian” sport.

Increased media coverage

With the increase in media coverage of these sports, there has been a corresponding increase in public interest. This has led to more opportunities for sponsorship and funding, which could in turn lead to better facilities and more investment in training and development. In addition, the increased media coverage has also meant that more people are aware of these sports and their athletes, which could lead to increased participation rates.

Increased interest from sponsors

The rationale for sponsors being interested in the Olympics is that the Games—and, in particular, the opening ceremony—attract a global audience. And with social media, that reach is even greater. For example, the 2016 Rio Olympics were watched by a total global TV audience of 3.6 billion people, and one study says that social media helped increase that number by 9 percent.

But there are some sports that don’t make it into the Olympics. Here are some of them—and the reasons why they could be included in future Games.

Boxing has long been a popular sport, both as a professional and amateur sport. But it was dropped from the Olympics after the 2008 Beijing Games because of concerns about corruption in the sport’s governing body, the International Boxing Association (AIBA). In June 2017, AIBA was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) due to “financial concerns” and “governance issues.” But boxing could return to the Olympics as soon as 2020 if AIBA can clean up its act.

Softball was dropped from the 2012 London Olympics due to a lack of interest from sponsors and television networks. But there’s been a renewed push to include softball in future Games, especially since baseball—which is similar to softball—was dropped after the 2008 Beijing Olympics for being boring.

Golf was last an Olympic sport in 1904 but will return to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics after a 112-year hiatus. The main reason golf isn’t played more often at the Olympics is because most of its biggest stars don’t see it as being worth their time. But with increased prize money on offer for Tokyo 2020 ($9 million for each gender), perhaps more golfers will see it as worth their while to compete.

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