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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

More on defining sport

The surprising and controversial announcement that wrestling is being dropped from the core Olympic programme effective with the 2020 Summer Games made me think that we may have found a reason why it matters whether something is a sport or not: Whether something is a sport (as opposed to a game or a competition) should be a tiebreaking factor when choosing between two events. In other words, when the IOC is deciding between wrestling and, say, synchronized ballroom dancing for a spot in the Games, the former wins out because it is a sport and the other is not.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on February 20, 2013 at 02:42 PM in Howard Wasserman, Sports | Permalink


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Thanks for raising this Howard. I have been demoralized about it since the news broke; wrestling was a big part of my life as a kid and in college. But I suggest another, perhaps less theory-driven, test. If it is a sport that appears in the Odyssey (see the games of the Phaeacians in Book VIII), then it presumptively deserves a place in the Olympics over any sport which does not so appear.

Posted by: Marc DeGirolami | Feb 21, 2013 10:19:36 AM

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