IOC OKs Golf, Rugby for Rio Games

Golfers, ruggers seek Olympic gold in 2016 for first time in 100 years or more
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2009 10:52 AM CDT
A game of rugby being at the 1924 Olympics in France. The 2016 Olympics will feature the streamlined seven-a-side game, not the standard 15-a-side version.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Medals for golf and rugby will be awarded at the 2016 Olympics for the first time in a century or more. The IOC voted today to reinstate the sports for the Rio de Janeiro games and provisionally accepted them for the 2020 Olympiad. Golf has not been played at the Olympics since its first appearance, in 1904, and ruggers haven’t been able to seek gold since 1924. The vote was 63-27 for golf, 81-8 for rugby, the AP notes.

“Time will show your decision was very wise,” said IOC president Jacques Rogge, who was reelected to a final 4-year term. Golf, considered a tougher sell because of its exclusivity, was helped by a taped message from Tiger Woods—who says he will play in Rio—and a presentation from Michelle Wie and Padraig Harrington. The leader of the rugby bid appeared to play up all aspects of the game: “Rugby and Rio were made for each other. A great atmosphere, great sport, and a good time.”