Changing China

Giant on the move

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What’s on the Olympic programme?


Canadian synchronized swimming teamA gold medal to anyone who can name all 28 sports on the programme at the Beijing Olympics.

Struggling? The list runs from A for Aquatics to W for Wrestling. (Although ”aquatics” to my untrained eye seems to span a series of water sports – swimming, diving and water polo).

For baseball and softball, Beijing will be bittersweet — they will not feature in London in 2012 when the programme will be cut to 26 sports. They are the first sports to be axed from the Olympics since polo in 1936.     

Both are relatively recent additions – baseball made its debut as a medal sport in Barcelona in 1992 and softball in Atlanta four years later. As quintessential American games they struggled to muster the international backing needed to keep them on the programme.
U.S. wins softball gold in Athens