UK Sport is investing a record $565 million for the Rio Olympic team after Great Britain’s notable showing at home this summer. However, exactly zero of those dollars will be going to basketball, table tennis, wrestling, handball, and indoor volleyball.
All five sports have been effectively cut from the roster under the UK’s “no-comprimise formula” that aims to shift government sports spending toward the events thought most likely to bring home medals.
“When people look at it, they know that is done on a performance basis,” Sports Minister Hugh Robertson told the London Guardian.
“There is not a lot of point at this level, funding teams that are not going to qualify for the Olympics.”
Swimming was given only enough funding for one year to prove it’s worth, while four very British sports – cycling, rowing, sailing, and equestrian – all received increased funding after solid performances this summer.
For all its cutthroat tactics, Team GB aims to up its performance in 2016 by a whole medal (from 65 in London to 66 in Rio) to become the first host nation to bring home more medals at the following Games.
We’re sure that source of pride will help handballer Christopher McDermott cope with the elimination of his sport: “I’m devastated, absolutely gutted. I gave my all for seven years, now we’ve been chopped.”