By: Kyle Eggleston
Did you know that Baseball and Softball were just voted out of 2008’s Olympic Games in Beijing, China? What makes you think paintball will ever be added? By the end of this article, I’ll give you a sure foundation on whether Paintball will or will not be included in the Olympics any time soon.
A Little History
The Olympic Games were first started in 776 B.C. in Olympia, Greece. The games died down and came to a halt in 393 A.D, when the Roman Emperor Theodosius I ceased the thousand-year festival in order to comply with the Christianity movement. They were trying to end all public and private religious freedoms to â€œuniteâ€ the Christians. Talk about a buzz-kill, huh?
The Olympic Games were then revived in 1896 by a Frenchmen named Pierre FrÃ©dy, Baron de Coubertin (Just call him Freddy). The games have been celebrated every 4 years since then.
Where Does Paintball Come Into Play?
Good question. The major issue running around everybody’s heads is â€œWill paintball ever be added as an Olympic sportâ€? The decision has yet to be made; however, history and current events can tell us whether or not it will be added in the future.
Let me first note that the people in charge of adding and removing sports from the Olympic roster is called the International Olympic Committee, or IOC. They’re the ones who vote and decide which city the Olympics will be held at, what sports are to be included and what not. The OIC is very active, and does their research before making any decisions. Is this a good or bad thing concerning paintball?
The Jist of It
Paintball is a rapidly growing sport, we all know that. Some claim it’s the fastest growing sport in world – While I don’t believe this is 100% accurate, it’s definitely one of the fastest. Many paintballers, even professionals, say that based off Paintball’s rapid growth rate, it’s only a few years from now that the sport will be in the Olympics. What these people don’t understand is how the Olympics works.
The Olympics is about nations competing against nations. It’s a safe alternative to war to show other countries that you’re better than them. Why do you think we’ve never had a war with Canada ;)? Paintball may be a rapidly growing sport, but that’s in America. You’re right, the USA does compete against other USA teams in the Olympics, but it’s rare. Paintball is huge in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, and Russia. That’s pretty much it. There are no Kenyan or Zambian paintball teams. This is where the problem resides â€“ Paintball is not an international sportâ€¦ Yet.
Here’s the deal. Baseball and Softball were ruled out of 2008’s Olympic Games because the IOC defined the sports as â€œtoo Americanâ€. Baseball is America’s pastime. Softball isâ€¦ Well no one likes softball (just kidding). Baseball is a huge sport, and yet it managed to get kicked out of the Olympic Games. The sport was not global enough. The reason why paintball hasn’t been voted into the Olympics yet is because the sport has yet to reach the other 90% of this world. The United States dominates the sport right now; it wouldn’t be fair to the other countries.
Do I think paintball will be added to the Olympics? YES! â€¦ Eventually. I think that it may take another 10-20 years before it’s even considered by the International Olympic Committee. Other countries need to catch up with the sports technologies, strategies, and talent
What Can You Do To Help?
Take the sport oversees. Go to Mexico, Canada, and Brazilâ€¦ Wherever, and spread the sport like nuts. The sport needs catch on in other countries.
If you can’t do that, you can sign this petition that will be read by the IOC to at least consider the sport into the Olympic Games sometime in the future.