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 Editorial  THE JOURNAL OF SPORT,  LEISURE & RISK  WITH AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE        November 2023

 countries and on three continents.
 The importance of team sports in   The sport must also increase the
 American culture and building stronger   ‘‘value and appeal’’ of the Olympic
 bonds to professional leagues and   Games and retain and reflect its   Superbowl
 tours was stressed to IOC members   modern traditions. There are numerous
 before they voted for the new sports.  other rules, including bans on purely
 Yet the inclusion of five new sports   ‘‘mind sports’’ and sports dependent
 leaves the International Olympic   on mechanical propulsion. These rules
 Committee with a potential problem:   have kept chess, motor racing, and   extravagant entertainment
 how it gets under its quota of 10,500   other recognised sports out of the
 athletes for each Games. Whilst   Olympic Games.  and football unpredictability
 Breaking (Break dancing) has not been
 chosen for LA, other sports considered  The IOC has worked to manage the   Tim Mottram, independent sports journalist
 under threat, including boxing,   scope of the Olympics by permitting
 weightlifting and modern pentathlon,   new sports only with the removal of   There is something distinctly American about the Superbowl. The spectacle and
 are now considered safe.  others. Sports that have already been   consumerism, the drama and the expectation: it is a day when the Fourth of July
 part of the Games are periodically   spirit is yoked to Thanksgiving as people gather around the country to watch one of
 It means that, if the Games is to stick   reviewed to determine whether they   the world’s greatest exhibitions of sport. In 2024, this most glitzy of competitions
 to that magic number of 10,500, more   should be retained.   will take place in the most ostentatious of venues, Las Vegas. Set in the brand-new
 traditional sports will have to cut their   Allegiant Stadium, this is the first time that the Super Bowl is being staged in Nevada.
 number of medal events.   While numerous events have been
 added to the Games since their   While it might not be the oldest American   Each year, the announcement of the half-
 Boxing has been assured of being in   resumption in 1896, many have been   sports final, it is probably the most   time entertainer is eagerly anticipated,
 Los Angeles, but the sport is currently   sidelined. Tug-of-war was once a   famous. Started in 1967, it took a few years  with rumours and counter rumours circling
 without a governing body recognised   respected Olympic sport as were polo,   of gear-grinding to gain the attention of   until the grand announcement. 2024 will
 by the IOC.  rackets, roque, and waterskiing but   the viewing public. By the 1970s, millions   see Usher take the stage, meaning that
 these have been discontinued over the   were tuning in, and by the 80s, the   he joins the ranks of Rihanna, Michael
 Since the original re-establishment   years, while cricket and lacrosse are   advertisers realised that it could be milked   Jackson and Katy Perry as half-time
 of the Games in Athens in 1896, they   among the sports that were dropped   as a major platform for products.   entertainers.
 have expanded from 241 to more   but have now been reinstated.
 than 10,000 competitors. Dozens of   The Super Bowl is renowned the world   But in the end it is the football that draws
 additions and changes have been   The IOC need to continue this process   over for not just the advertisements, but   the crowds and the world’s attention.
 made in the Olympic programme   of renewal. It is vital that new sports   for the show. The event has become a   American Football is a comparatively flat
 during that time, with almost 100   should be admitted to the Games to   cultural phenomenon, where the half-  competition where plenty of teams could
 events being added since 1980 alone.   keep the Games fresh, and maintain   time show and half-time adverts drip with   end up making it to Las Vegas, a fact that
 The Olympic Charter states that in   and increase the excitement and   celebrities.    keeps the fans engaged and the bookies
 order to be accepted, a sport must   interest in them for current and future   happy.
 be widely practiced by men in at least   generations.
 75 countries and on four continents,                         The Kansas City Chiefs seem to be the
 and by women in no fewer than 40                             team to beat and are heavily backed by
                                                              the odds. They have back-to-back titles,
                                                              a feat which has not been achieved since
                                                              the New England Patriots did it in 2004
 Yet the inclusion of five new sports leaves                  and 2005. In Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs
 the International Olympic Committee with a                   have a quarterback of rare talent. Since
                                                              emerging in 2018, he has helped his team
 potential problem: how it gets under its quota               to two Super Bowl victories and helped

 of 10,500 athletes for each Games.                           take them deep into the playoffs. Over
                                                              in Kansas, though, questions do remain.
                                                              Four-time Pro Bowl selection Chris Jones,

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