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Baseball to the Winter Olympics?


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http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303636404579392840235214038

Yes, baseball should return to the Olympics as a winter sport.

The reasoning is simple. The IOC needs extra sports for the Winter Games far more than it needs them for the Summer Games. And February is a much easier time of year for Major League Baseball to allow players to participate than August.

Now, to address an obvious counterargument: Baseball isn't a winter sport. But basketball isn't a summer sport, either, and the IOC hardly minds having it at the Summer Games, when it's easier for NBA players to attend. Ice hockey started out as a Summer Olympic sport in 1920 before moving to the Winter Games in 1924.

And baseball can be played indoors. Seven MLB teams play in indoor or retractable-roof stadiums. And countries hosting the Winter Olympics wouldn't need to build anything nearly as expansive as those. A minor-league-sized, enclosed ballpark would be suitable.

The Olympic Charter states that Winter Olympic sports must be played on snow or ice, but the IOC is free to rewrite it as it pleases. "The Olympic Charter is not set in stone," IOC President Thomas Bach said recently. "We have to evolve, adapt to modern times."

Let's do it!

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Not a bad reasoning when it comes to having it outside of MLB season to allow for big players to take part but "Winter Olympic sports must be played on snow or ice", so no.

Ice and Snow are part of the identity of the Winter Olympics. Plus building a ballpark you can use during February means it would have to be enclosed, aka expensive, and the Winter Olympics are already under criticism for being too big of an event.

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What rubbish. he says:

But the Winter Games can't find enough sports. It has only 15 of them, and its prospects for growth are limited by a basic problem: Earthlings don't play very many sports in ice and snow.

Can't find enough sports? Prospects for growth? The last thing we need is more growth making hosts harder to find and there are plenty of sports in the winter olympics.

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This is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. If you are going to add a game to the winter Olympics, why would you choose a game best played in July? If you are going to add an event I would rather have mountain climbing added; use a g-force meter to give the medals to the teams with the least shaking of the meter during the climb. At least no venue would be required for that.

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Also, if an American city really wanted to add an American sport if they hosted, why wouldn't they use American football as a demonstration sport? It's played in the winter and Denver, Seattle, etc. would have a football stadium going to waste for the winter games anyway.

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If baseball/softball was to be re-admitted (and that's not something I'd be against, but far down the list of sports I'd like to see), it should, IMO, of course be outdoor at the summer games.

But it's not such an outrageous debate to posit the movement of some sports from the summer games to the winters. It's been floated often enough in a lot of Olympic discussion over the years to ease the burden on the SOGs and use up "spare" capacity in the WOGs. And also to give the non-winter sports countries something to engage with and cheer on. Usually the likes of indoor events like boxing or wrestling or such I've seen suggested. Big sticking point is tradition, and the fact the IOC charter I think specifies ice or snow surfaces for WOG events.

Personally, I wouldn't necessarily be against it if it helped in games logistics and helped open up the summer sports roster to some fresh good new events. But then again, part of the appeal of the WOGs is its white, wintry aspect to me I suppose. I'd be torn.

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The issue is that baseball is a warm weather sport, not just a sport that happens to be played in the summer. It is a sport that is popular because it lets people enjoy hot days in July and August while sipping a cold beer. This is like suggesting beach volleyball be played in the winter.

If you are going to propose adding an event to be played in the winter, why not a sport that is at least played in cold weather?

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Wont happen. I wouldn't want to sit outside in freezing conditions to watch a baseball game. Although it wouldn't have been that bad at the games in Sochi.

Well, the strange thing about the temperatures of Sochi is that yeah, during the day when the sun was out, they were enjoying spring-like temps. But if you noticed for the Ceremonies, even the Great Macho Leader, Vladimir, had to use a blanket* for his legs. So with a $51 billion budget,a $790-million stadium and all their gas deposits, Russia could not afford to heat Fisht?? :blink: That is a puzzlement!!

(*Or were the blankets only for the old fogey section of the VIPs???)

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Could we do baseball on ice with skates ?

Only if they wear short, sequined skirts and tops designed by Johnny Weir.

For those that didn't read the article, or even the quoteables like Baron, it clearly proposes building indoor stadiums.

I mean they can't even re-crash the party in the Summer slate, and they want to build INDOOR stadia in mountain towns -- like you'd have copies of the Tokyo Dome or Toronto's Skydome in cities of 1 mil or less? Then they're even more barmy that I first thought and don't deserve any serious consideration.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Well, the strange thing about the temperatures of Sochi is that yeah, during the day when the sun was out, they were enjoying spring-like temps. But if you noticed for the Ceremonies, even the Great Macho Leader, Vladimir, had to use a blanket* for his legs. So with a $51 billion budget,a $790-million stadium and all their gas deposits, Russia could not afford to heat Fisht?? :blink: That is a puzzlement!!

(*Or were the blankets only for the old fogey section of the VIPs???)

Mr Putin is probably asking those same questions right now...

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It's the snow and ice issue here.

Unless the IOC change that stipulation this is a non starter. However if they did ever change that rule then how about some of the existing summer sports switching to lessen the size of the summer games?! I'm not saying I would want to see it but I have heard others articulate the argument before.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Brian Cookson calls for radical overhaul of Olympic events

• UCI president suggests cutting several summer Games sports

• 'What about putting track cycling in the Winter Olympics?'

Brian Cookson, the head of cycling's governing body, has called for a radical overhaul of the Olympics, with indoor sports such as track cycling, judo and badminton possibly moving to the Winter Games.

Cookson, president of the International Cycling Union, said such a change could take the pressure off the "overheated" summer Olympics and allow the sports that move to have more events and more medals. The former president of British Cycling has previously suggested that the International Olympic Committee look at non-Olympic events such as cyclo-cross and downhill mountain biking being part of the Winter Games, but now he believes a debate needs to be held on a whole raft of indoor events.

"If you have a problem with summer Olympics where the whole thing is perceived as over-heated with too many facilities, too many sports, too many competitors and so on, why not look at moving some of the other sports that traditionally take place in the winter in the northern hemisphere indoors?" Cookson said. "So why not look at combat sports like judo, or other indoor sports like badminton. You could even say what about putting track cycling in the Winter Olympics?

"If we moved track cycling to the Winter Olympics and that allowed us to have more track cycling events and more medals then that could be a pretty good outcome. So let's talk about those things and see what the stakeholders, the national federations, the teams and the competitors have to say about those options."

The IOC president, Thomas Bach, has announced a review of the whole Olympic programme with the results to be presented at a special session in Monaco at the end of this year. Cookson said cycling has enjoyed huge success in the Olympics but that sports' leaders should not just accept the status quo.

He added: "If you look at the London Olympics the lesson from there is the cycling events were incredibly successful from the point of view of attendance and media coverage, and there were huge crowds for the road races. But we shouldn't just accept the status quo without thinking: 'What are the possibilities here.'

"Thomas Bach has instituted a debate about the format for the Games and let's think about the Winter Olympics, why does it have to be snow and ice? The reality these days is that the base for the Winter Olympics the last few times has been two- or three-hours drive away from the mountains."

Cookson became the first person to successfully challenge a sitting president of a summer Olympic federation for more than 30 years when he unseated Ireland's Pat McQuaid last September. Since then he has unveiled a package of reforms of cycling including an independent investigation into allegations of a cover-up of doping by the UCI in the past, more financial transparency, and he is also backing term limits for the UCI presidency, making a maximum of eight or 12 years in office.

Cookson also warned that every sport needs to be aware that some of its athletes will be doping. He said: "There are two categories of sport, those that have a doping problem and are trying to do something about it and cycling I would suggest is one of the leaders there.

"The second category is those that have a doping problem and are in denial about it because there are forms of doping that affect all forms of sport. If you are running your sport and think that you don't have a doping problem then I think you need a wake-up call because there will be a form of doping that you need to do something about."

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/mar/25/track-cycling-winter-olympic-games

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