DECISION 2016: Roller sports believe youth appeal gives them the edge

EVERY day this week, we’ll be hearing from the seven sports who are campaigning for inclusion in the 2016 Olympic Games. We’ve heard from baseball, golf and karate. Today roller sports makes their case.


HIGH PACED: Roller sports was part of the schedule at the recent World Games in Kaohsiung

Next week, the IOC’s Executive Board meet in Berlin to trim their shortlist of seven down to two.

Those sports will then require a simple majority of the IOC’s 108-strong voting membership to gain prized Olympic status in Denmark later this year.

Tomorrow, we’ll hear the case for rugby sevens, followed by softball and squash.

And you can have your say, vote in our poll or leave a comment.

On the occasion of the vote in Singapore in 2005, we realised that our sport was not really understood in the Olympic world.
YOUTH APPEAL: Five races over three days, involving 100 competitors, a streamlined competition is at the heart of Roller Sports’ Olympic bid

Since then we have been trying to let the members of the International Olympic Committee know what really lies behind our world.

We tried to show them that the roller world is very exciting and magical.

We have chosen to submit speed skating for the Olympic program, because we think it is the most popular and athletic of the many roller sport disciplines.

The Olympics need to regain the attention of young audiences and roller skating, in all its disciplines, is able to fascinate and encourage exactly this kind of target. The combination would be perfect!

We are convinced that at the Olympics we could make the difference.

From an athletic point of view, it’s important to remember that roller sports have a strong tradition in countries such as Belgium, Colombia, New Zealand, Argentina and Chinese Taipei and entering the Olympics would give those nations more chances to win medals.

Roller sports offer pure performance – it is like watching an athletics race at the speed of a bicycle.

And that is why it is so exciting for younger ones.

It is also a sport practiced in five continents by men and women, with objective results guaranteed by a photo finish.

Speed skating is a fresh and young sport: the sport of the 21st century’s youth.

But roller sports is not only a sport. There is also a social element to roller skating that attracts over 50 million people to the sport around the world.

It is a fun and cheap sport that has increased in popularity over the years and is loved by the young and old alike.

Roller skating is also a true lifestyle that involves millions worldwide because it is so easy to learn and does not require any special facilities.

Roller sports proposal for inclusion in the Olympic programme envisions five races – for both men and women – over a three-day period. It will involve 50 men and 50 women selected on a continental basis.

They would compete in the following distances, 500m sprint, 1000m, 10km elimination race, 15km points races and marathon.