Rugby sevens gets Olympic nod – at a price

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :In the news on 9 Oct 2009 at 15:14
Tagged with : ,

Rugby and golf will be included as sports at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the International Olympic Committee announced in Copenhagen on Friday.

Sevens, the abbreviated version of the rugby, rather than the 15-man code will feature in Rio de Janeiro,.

This follows after the IOC on Friday re-elected Belgian Jacques Rogge, a self-confessed rugby fan and former player, as president for a new four-year term with 88 votes in favour, one against and three abstentions.

No alternative candidate stood in the secret ballot. Rogge, 67, was first elected for eight years in 2001 in Moscow and will now be in place through the 2012 London Olympics before stepping down a year later.

New rules allowed the former Olympic yachtsman and Belgian Rugby Union international to stand for a final four-year mandate.

IOC members rubber-stamped the two sports, rugby and golf, at a congress here after the executive board had voted to include them at a meeting in August.

Rugby Sevens received 81 votes for and eight against with one abstention, while golf had 63 for and 27 against with two members abstaining.

The two sports will be included in the programme for the 2016 Rio Games, bringing the number of sports there to the IOC’s stated maximum of 28.

Sevens will see 12 teams each in competitions for men and women, with the sport’s governing body, the International Rugby Board, having pledged to end its showpiece World Cup Sevens tournament.

IRB president Bernard Lapasset played on the universal appeal of Rugby Union Sevens, which often sees upsets on its global circuit.

“This is a historic moment for our sport and for the global rugby community, who were united in support of our campaign,” the Frenchman said.

“We are excited and honoured to be joining the Olympic Games and I would like to thank the IOC members for believing in our Olympic vision and our values and recognising that rugby sevens is a perfect fit for the Olympic Games.

“The Olympic Games will be the pinnacle of the sport for all our athletes and the rugby family. The best men’s and women’s players in the world are excited to be able to showcase their talent on the world’s greatest sporting stage.

“We are now looking forward to working in partnership with the IOC to develop and implement a Rugby Sevens tournament in Rio that will reach out to new audiences and inspire a new generation of sports fans around the world.”

The International Golf Federation has promised that the world’s best will take part in Olympic golf, which will see 60 players in both the men and women’s competitions facing off over 72 holes.

Softball, squash, baseball, karate and roller sports were also in contention for Olympic spots until their elimination by the executive board vote two months ago.

Both rugby and golf have been played previously at Olympics.

Golf was played at the Paris Games in 1900 and four years later in St Louis, while rugby was played between 1900 and 1924, in the full 15-a-side format.


  • So there goes our hopes to be Sevens World cup champs…Wales is then forever the 7’s world champs 🙄

    So what is more prestiges. Holding a world cup or being the Olympic Gold medalists.

  • Comment 1, posted at 09.10.09 15:27:05 by Pokkel Reply
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  • sounds good, i would have thought there would be more than 12 teams, how would they choose who to include?

  • Comment 2, posted at 09.10.09 15:32:34 by war1 Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 1) : that’s dreadful.
    in team sports the Olympics do not have such prestige as world cups – me thinks

  • Comment 3, posted at 09.10.09 16:07:15 by rekinek Reply
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  • So where does this leave Wales, England, and Scotland? They compete as Great Britain at the Olympics.

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.10.09 19:53:47 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • Wow. That’s quite a resounding win. Makes perfect sense to me actually. It would be silly having Sevens Olympics AND Sevens WC. The Olympics is a better place to showcase the game as well as countries want to get as many medals as they can. Watch out for China as 7s power in a couple of Olympics’ time.

  • Comment 5, posted at 11.10.09 08:34:37 by klempie Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) : Must do. I wonder if they will call them the Lions as Northern Ireland would be included too.

  • Comment 6, posted at 11.10.09 08:36:28 by klempie Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 1) :

    Personally I’d rather be a gold medal Olympian than a Sevens World Cup medal holder.

    But then thats just me but in my eyes the Olympics are the pinnacle od sporting prestige.

  • Comment 7, posted at 12.10.09 18:09:18 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 7) : In principle I agree, I’m just afraid that the 7’s at the Olympics might disappear in the masses of other sports and that it won’t get the attention that it deserves

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.10.09 08:10:54 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 3) :
    Very true, individual Olympic medalists are definatly viewed with much higher esteem than the team sports.
    It will be great to expose the world to sevens and it will be a great experience for the players but in such a minor sport I dont know which is a more coveted title olympic champs or world champs.

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.10.09 08:31:07 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Fantastic!!!

    It’s the OLYMPICS- forget some lil’ World Cup competition.

    Great exposure for the game as well…and a chance for RSA to get more medals…

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.10.09 08:37:42 by blackshark Reply

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  • @blackshark (Comment 10) : not really – it will count just for one medal, ooo wait … if this is the case will increase SA’s medal pool by like 25%. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.10.09 08:53:08 by rekinek Reply
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  • @blackshark (Comment 10) :
    😀 Yeah right, tell that to Danny Jordaan and all the stadium builders around South Africa. BTW who are the reigning Olympic soccer gold medal winners. ❓

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.10.09 09:25:37 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 11) :
    The way Kenya are improving, it may just be them who get the extra medal, what would that be, a 5 – 10% increase in their case.

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.10.09 09:28:15 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 12) :
    Men’s Olympic Soccer Tournament

    Year Gold Silver Bronze Location
    1908 United Kingdom Denmark Netherlands London, Great Britain
    1912 United Kingdom Denmark Netherlands Stockholm, Sweden
    1920 Belgium Spain Netherlands Antwerp, Belgium
    1924 Uruguay Switzerland Sweden Paris, France
    1928 Uruguay Argentina Italy Amsterdam, Holland
    1932 No Tournament Los Angeles, USA
    1936 Italy Austria Norway Berlin, Germany
    1948 Sweden Yugoslavia Denmark London, Great Britain
    1952 Hungary Yugoslavia Sweden Helsinki, Finland
    1956 Soviet Union Yugoslavia Bulgaria Melbourne, Australia
    1960 Yugoslavia Denmark Netherlands Rome, Italy
    1964 Hungary Czechoslovakia East Germany Tokyo, Japan
    1968 Hungary Bulgaria Japan Mexico City, Mexico
    1972 Poland 😛 Hungary E. Germany / Soviet Union Munich, W. Germany
    1976 East Germany Poland Soviet Union Montreal, Canada
    1980 Czechoslovakia East Germany Soviet Union Moscow, Soviet Union
    1984 France Brazil Yugoslavia Los Angeles, USA
    1988 Soviet Union Brazil West Germany Seoul, Korea
    1992 Spain Poland Ghana Barcelona, Spain
    1996 Nigeria Argentina Brazil Atlanta, United States
    2000 Cameroon Spain Chile Sydney, Australia
    2004 Argentina Paraguay Italy Athens, Greece

    2008 – Argentina

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.10.09 09:40:37 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 13) : fortunately you also get silver & bronze :mrgreen:

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.10.09 09:41:20 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 12) : isn’t olympic soccer an under-23 tournament?

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.10.09 09:59:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 15) :
    Indeed, but you dont smile and stick out your tongue as vigorously as you do when you get silver or bronze. 😉

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.10.09 10:04:01 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) :
    Not sure about the limit but it is definatly an age group event.
    I wonder if they could do the same for 7’s. Its not the case with hockey.

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.10.09 10:06:22 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 17) :
    😳 😳 should be “Indeed, but you dont smile and stick out your tongue as vigorously as you do when you get gold. 😉

  • Comment 19, posted at 13.10.09 10:08:11 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 11) : One gold would be a major improvement from what we got in Beijing.

    @robdylan (Comment 16) : @Salmonoid (Comment 18) : @Salmonoid (Comment 18) :

    Under-23 + 3 over-23 players …

  • Comment 20, posted at 13.10.09 14:32:45 by blackshark Reply

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