The Reuters global sports blog
Pierre de Coubertin must be turning in his grave at the news that golf, surely the globe’s ultimate consumerist, exclusive sport, is set to be played at the 2016 Olympics.
The Frenchman revived the ancient Olympic Games at the end of the 19th century to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship and amateur ideals of a bygone era.
In the opening 80 years of the 20th century, the Games developed into a quadrennial spectacle where the world’s finest athletes — who devoted hours and hours of unpaid sweat and devotion to their cause — pitted their wits against international rivals in a manner typified by the phrase ‘It’s not the winning that counts, it’s the taking part.’
Yet could any sport be further from this ideal, more exclusive or more removed from the open-to-all ethos that drove de Coubertin to create the modern Games than golf?
Japanese housewife Kazumi Izaki dutifully prepares lunchboxes for her family at the crack of dawn each morning before hitting the gym to beat up grown men.
Izaki, who became Japan’s oldest professional boxer last year, could soon overtake George Foreman by winning a world title at 46 years old.