Thu, Apr 16, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Stars back push for golf to be included in 2016 Olympics

AFP , SINGAPORE

The top names in golf, led by Tiger Woods, got together to lobby the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to include the sport in the 2016 Summer Games.

Eighteen of the game’s biggest stars are sending a brochure detailing golf’s bid for inclusion along with personal letters reflecting their support to IOC members from their respective countries. In addition, Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam have sent the 32-page pamphlet to IOC representatives from 75 other countries.

“As we have consistently stated from the outset of the bid process, it is imperative that the best players in the world support golf’s Olympic effort,” said Peter Dawson, joint secretary of the International Golf Federation.

“It also is important for us to demonstrate the international nature of golf, underscoring the fact that 60 million people play the sport in nearly 120 countries,” he said. “This personal outreach by international players is a continuation of that effort.”

Golfers sending material to their respective IOC representatives include the US’ Woods, Fiji’s Vijay Singh, Ai Miyazato of Japan, South African Ernie Els, Australia’s Karrie Webb and Sergio Garcia of Spain.

Golf is one of seven sports being considered for inclusion at the 2016 Games. The others are baseball, karate, roller sports, rugby sevens, softball and squash. The IOC will vote on the matter in October.

“We certainly appreciate the effort and support of these great players on behalf of golf’s Olympic bid,” Ty Votaw, executive director of the IGF Olympic Golf Committee, said in a statement. “We obviously believe there is a very compelling case as to why golf should be reinstated as an Olympic sport, and a large reason for that is the support from top players.”

Golf was last an Olympic sport in 1904 in St Louis when only the US and Canada competed.

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