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Top 10 Sports That Should Be In The Olympics

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Fred Humphries Running, throwing, jumping… we’ve seen it all before. Come on IOC; let’s open the doors to some new sports. Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 sports that should be in the Olympics. For this list, we’re taking a look at sports that would provide a welcome and feasible alternative to the usual fare at the biggest sporting event in the world. Special thanks to our user King Paul the Critic for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Fred Humphries

Top 10 Sports That Should Be In The Olympics

Running, throwing, jumping… we’ve seen it all before. Come on IOC; let’s open the doors to some new sports. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 sports that should be in the Olympics.

For this list, we’re taking a look at sports that would provide a welcome and feasible alternative to the usual fare at the biggest sporting event in the world.

#10: Beach Soccer

First created to be an exciting spectator sport, international rules were only established for the game in 1992 but beach soccer has rapidly expanded, allowing non-traditional soccer playing nations the opportunity to show what they can do on a global stage. Case in point: Tahiti came second in the 2015 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. You’re unlikely to see a 0-0 in this form of the sport as the smaller pitch and difficult-to-maneuver surface encourages improvisational play with plenty of attempts on goal. You can even get a great tan while you play, so win-win.

#9: Bowls

A core sport in the Commonwealth Games, bowls has already proven that it can be an attractive prospect for televised international competition. Requiring precision within a fraction of an inch, the smallest overthrow can send your bowl flying into the ditch. The tension builds as you follow the bowl on its curve to nestle against the jack. It likely wouldn’t be as dramatic as is portrayed in the sports comedy “Blackball,” but bowls certainly has the potential to attract a new generation of fans.

#8: Skateboarding

The worldwide appeal of this action sport doesn’t need to be debated in this video as the X Games have been operating successfully since 1995. Huge names like Bob Burnquist and Tony Hawk deserve to be recognized on an international stage alongside the likes of Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps as the sporting legends they are. A number of different disciplines of skateboarding, much like the different types of snowboarding, would provide ample variety for the Olympics. The inclusion of BMX speed races since 2008 may have laid the foundations for more extreme sports to be included in the future.

#7: Karate

Come August 2016, we may be talking about karate at the 2020 Olympics as it’s being considered for selection along with four other sports. A part of the cultural identity in Japan, the sport is hugely popular in societies around the globe with estimates suggesting that there are between 50-100 million practitioners worldwide. Karate has two disciplines: ‘sparring’ (or kumite) for those who enjoy combat and ‘forms’ (or kata) for those who enjoy non-contact performance. The 2020 games in Japan may well see it join Judo and Taekwondo on the world’s largest athletic stage.

#6: Baseball / Softball

If baseball is involved, then softball’s part of the package. Officially becoming an Olympic sport in 1992, baseball held that status until it was voted out of the 2012 Games, alongside its sister sport, softball. In 2013, the World Baseball-Softball Confederation was formed to further thesports’ aspirations for Olympic recognition. Both were last included in the 2008 games and it is likely they’ll get their time again in Japan for 2020 due to their popularity in that country. The joint bid is significantly strengthened as softball satisfies the requirement for a female arm of the sport. Hopefully the bid is not held back by the relatively small number of nations that can feasibly put forward a team.

#5: Surfing

Another sport that may yet be included for the 2020 games, surfing would likely require an indoor wave-pool to guarantee a high-quality competition worthy of the Olympic Games – at least in landlocked regions. This move indoors may not sit well with purists of the sport, but it would be necessary to remove the barriers that would prevent so many from taking part, as well as other elements like, you know, sharks. By some estimates, there are 35 million surfers worldwide and for many, Olympic inclusion is just the next step in the progression of the sport.

#4: Rugby Union

Previously included in four games towards the beginning of the century, the feasibility of rugby union matches at the Olympic Games was greatly increased when the seven-a-side version of the sport was included at the 2016 games. Traditionally dominated by a handful of nations, the emergence of new countries has proved that it is diverse enough for the Olympics – especially as many smaller nations could realistically be in medal contention. Women’s rugby is also growing rapidly and Olympic recognition would be a great boost for the game around the world.

#3: Cricket

How is it possible that the second most popular sport in the world is not played at an Olympic level? Somewhat comically, cricket’s only Olympic appearance came in the year 1900, and was one game played between Great Britain and France. Already popular inCommonwealth nations, nowadays, the sport has a much more global reach, and would provide Asian countries like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka a rare opportunity to win a gold medal. The shorter form of the game, known as Twenty20, has allowed smaller nations to be genuinely competitive and is far more suitable for marketing moguls to sell to a worldwide audience.

#2: Squash

A sport that perennially misses out on Olympic inclusion, squash is a core sport at the Commonwealth Games, but for some reason has yet to join tennis and badminton in any Olympic Games. The sport’s current domination by Egyptian competitors may well be holding the high-intensity racquet sport back as its appeal has not quite captured the attention of more universally dominant sporting nations. Fast-paced and inexpensive, requiring only four walls, two racquets and a rubber ball, squash is played across the globe in over 188 countries. Go and petition for squash to get a go 2024; it’s waited long enough.

Before we reveal our top pick, let’s take a look at some honorable mentions:
- Futsal
- Wushu
- Ultimate Frisbee
- Ten-Pin Bowling
- Darts
- Cue Sports

#1: Mixed Martial Arts

Since the UFC was established in 1993, the sport has grown significantly, with many crediting MMA’s popularity with renewing interest in all martial arts. The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation was set up in 2012 to support the sport’s global development, with the ultimate goal of gaining Olympic recognition. What began as a method of determining the best martial art to use in a fight has become a rapidly expanding sport, the popularity of which parallels more mainstream sports like boxing and professional wrestling. While the sport would need to be scored more like Olympic boxing, without any intent to seriously injure opponents, its connection to existing Olympic sports like judo and taekwondo means the MMA’s goal of reaching the pinnacle of sporting competition may be within reach.

Do you agree with our list? Which sports would you love to see be given the opportunity to perform at the highest stage? For more sporting top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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