Interesting to hear that golfers are talking about pulling the plug on Rio because of their fears about the Zika virus, and the feeling that being there doesn’t mean that much to them.
The fears of the Zika virus are real, and only the fact the Olympics these days have become a virtual Government-Games means that decisions about the disease‘s threat to the athletes are not being made rationally, or individually, but by committee.
But the golfers talking about how much competing at the Olympics maybe doesn’t mean to them highlights again that, just maybe, some of the sports now appearing at the Olympics shouldn’t even be there at all. Because every new one that does appear at the Games (like sevens, like soccer, like tennis, like golf, all of which have much bigger fixtures to fry than this one) dilutes the impact of those events that have always been there and always have been associated with the Olympics – the gold medal for which is the biggest thing in an athlete’s life, for which they would crawl across broken glass if they had to.
A simple standard to follow if judging inclusion of a sport or game could be: if the Olympic gold is not the highest trophy in your sport, then your your sport should not be there.
Which is like saying that, you know, unless the Olympic gold means this much to the sportsmen and women involved (and let’s face it, golf isn’t even a sport!) then maybe just give this one away and stick to your Wimbledons and World Cups: