Over the years, the Olympics have included events that are special part of the city that they are held in. A good example is the sport of wushu at the Beijing 2008 Summer Games. While this decision made a lot of sense, the types of petitions available online for other new Olympic events are weird.
Thankfully, the internet allows us to catch wind of 15 of these strange sports petitions -- and shows us that sometimes bizarre sports can become an Olympic reality.
Demonstration sports start Olympic petition trend
The general public has been making strange requests to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since the early 1900s. Despite the IOC's indication that you need to have an international federation ruling your sport, most people simply get a petition rolling.
Part of the reason that people feel inclined to petition for a new sport is due to the demonstration sports the Olympics once allowed. Sadly, since the 1996 Olympics, demonstration sports have been discontinued. In the absence of the ability to formally ask the IOC to allow a weird sport to be played, the internet has taken over.
Now, you can get everyone involved in your cause at websites like ThePetitionSite.com, GoPetition.com, FightForTheFuture.org, and iPetitions.com. Of course, when you search for the Olympics at these sites, you soon are overcome by a barrage of strange sporting causes.
Olympics plus a disco ball
In the past few years, there has been four suggestions that the Olympics should include a discotheque feel. While Irish dance and flat track roller derby are good suggestions, the petition can only be recognized by the IOC if they have international governing.
For this reason, petitions for pole dancing and dancesport are more likely to be recognized. While it seems like pole dancing at the London 2012 games are improbable, there is actually a two-year ongoing campaign organized by their international headquarters in Utah.
A chance for all those mental athletes
If you think that you should get an Olympic medal for having the most toned brain, so far only two events have been suggested in your category. Over the past year, the Philippines made headlines with their petition to include chess in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
So far, it appears that there has been positive feedback for putting chess in the Olympics from the IOC. In particular, the director of the Philippine Olympic Committee recently got a visit from the World Chess Federation President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. In regards to whether or not chess will be included, he said, "We need to get a majority vote from the IOC members to make it happen. So far, we're getting positive response from most of them."
Other brainy sports petitions include reviving enthusiasm for the Olympic gold medal in art. From 1912 to 1948, an Olympian could win a gold medal in five art categories including music, painting, literature, sculpture, and architecture.
Olympic events verging on absurd
Suggesting an Olympic event like tug-o-war is comical, but it is hardly eyebrow raising. Sadly, there are four Olympic petitions that are just plain odd. Sheep shearing makes sense considering it is a farming art form -- but it is hilarious to think about jail-breaking sheep bleating frantically through Olympic crowds. However, sheep shearing is tame compared to petitions for cheese rolling, interoffice polo, and shin kicking.
In the end, the sport most likely to have merit is shin kicking. Although it is horrifying to think about, this U.K. sport has been played since 1612. Historically, they have been advertised as "Robert Dover's Cotswold Olimpick Games." Since the 2012 London Games will be held four hundred years after the first Olimpicks, petitioners want to see it at the Olympics.
While it may not be an event in 2012, it will be part of Britain's 8,000 mile Olympic torch relay.
A San Francisco Olympics
Along with having the world's first airport yoga facility, there is also a lean in San Francisco toward loving the planet and keeping perfume fumes out of the nostrils of the general public. For this reason, we should not be surprised to find a taste of San Francisco in the Olympic petition pile.
Included in the stack are suggestions to ban scented products and plastic bags from the Olympics. In addition, there is a chance that someone in the Bay Area will win a gold medal if the IOC approves yoga and meditation as an Olympic event.
Finally, if all of these sports seem like they are not right for you, sign the petition to "make the Olympics better for non-sporty people."
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