The Rio Olympics 2016 will be the first Games to feature Golf and Rugby 7s. Both sports were accepted back into the Olympic movement in 2009, and since then, there has been speculation on what the new inclusions will bring to the Olympics.
Both sports are highly successful in their own right. Rugby 7s has built up a staunch following in the last decade and the sport is part of the HSBC Sevens World Series, a tournament which has been going since 1999/2000 and increases in popularity every year.
The inclusion of Golf has caused much controversy between golf fans and the players themselves with many people citing that the Olympics is not the place for the sport.
Below, Newitts outlines why we think both Rugby 7s and Golf will prove to be a huge asset to this year's Olympic Games.
Value of Olympic medals will increase
Sir Steve Redgrave famously commented around the time golf was regaining its place in the Olympics; "The way I look at it is that if Tiger Woods wants to win a gold medal then that increases the value of the medals I won." Like Redgrave, we believe that adding new sports to the Games will only increase the value of the Olympics and make the medals that are won even more prestigious for those who win them.
A global platform for both sports
Rugby 7s is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK with record breaking crowds of more than 113,000 attending the London Sevens in 2015. The inclusion of both Rugby 7s and Golf in the Olympic Games will massively extend the profile of both sports across the globe, particularly in places where the sports are not that big. the Olympics will serve as a global platform on which to jump-start interest and support in these countries and hopefully inspire a younger generation.
"Golf is one of the most global games out there, among the top five in the world - So why not include it"
A legacy at the Olympics 2016
The Olympic golf course currently being created in the Barra da Tijuca zone will be the only public golf course in all of Rio de Janeiro, which the IOC president Thomas Bach says will be, "another great legacy of this Olympics". Furthermore, the course's designer, Gil Hanse has ensured the golf course brings environmental benefits to the land by recuperating an entire area that had become degraded since the 1980s.
Exciting to watch
Both sports are exciting to watch and bring their own appeal to the Games. It has been more than a century since golf or rugby were official sports in the Olympics, which in many people's opinions is far too long due to the wide-range appeal of both sports. Greg Norman, comments;"Golf is one of the most global games out there, among the top five in the world... "So why not include it?"
"There are millions of young golfers worldwide who would love to represent their country"
The players Want It
Many of the players are incredibly keen to be part of the Olympics. Sonny Bill Williams, an All Blacks rugby star has made it known worldwide that he wants to play in Rugby 7s for the first time at the Olympics and take home gold. Quade Cooper has also dedicated this year to the Olympic Rugby 7s program. In golf, Tiger Woods said; “There are millions of young golfers worldwide who would be proud to represent their country. It would be an honour for anyone who plays this game to become an Olympian.”
Stars will become Superstars
The Olympics is a great platform for rising stars to become ever bigger stars. Olympians such as Jessica Ennis-Hill, Nicola Adams, Victoria Pendleton, Mo Farrah and Bradley Wiggins all became overnight British icons thanks to their sporting achievements at the London Olympics 2012. It's a little early to tell if Golf or Rugby 7s will have the same impact, but it surely can't hurt the popularity of the athletes who get involved.
More sports, more medals
With more sports included in the Olympic Games, there is more opportunity for Team GB to gain medals! Both sports are focussed on creating the strongest Olympics teams they can to take to Rio - to begin successful world promotion of the sport. This can only mean one thing for the fans - the chances of gaining some more medals this year are even stronger.
Is there a sport you'd like to see at the Olympics, let us know what you think should be included at future games?