Atlanta Olympics badminton champ Paul-Erik Hoyer is worried his sport might be at risk of losing its Olympics status if it can’t expand worldwide.
“If we are not able to develop we could find ourselves no longer a global sport,” Hoyer explained. “Then we would be unable to achieve a higher position within Olympic sports.”
Badminton is incredibly popular in Asian countries, which have won 54 of the 60 medals since 2000 and swept the Beijing Games. But Hoyer, the only European to ever win badminton gold, believes the sport needs to focus on developing programs on all five continents if its expected to survive.
Of course, last summer’s scandal that saw athletes from three countries sanctioned for throwing matches won’t help, nor will the IOC’s willingness to eliminate wrestling. But Hoyer is likely to become the Badminton World Federation president later this year, and will aim to push his worldwide agenda.
“If we are to reach our potential we have to show the Olympic movement that we are really global.”
British Paralympic champion Josef Craig was disqualified from a race because he didn’t cover up an Olympic rings tattoo on his chest at the IPC European Championships on Sunday.
Craig, 19, was disqualified because of an International Paralympic Committee swimming rule that states, “body advertisements are not allowed in any way whatsoever (this includes tattoos and symbols).”
Craig, who did not have the tattoo when he took gold at London 2012, has since competed at the European Championships with the Olympic rings tattoo covered.
If people attend the Paralympics, which are held weeks after the Olympics at the same venues, they will very often see the Paralympic Agitos logo where the Olympic logo once appeared.
It is visual proof that the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee are separate entities.
At the London Paralympics, American Rudy Garcia-Tolson earned silver in a 200m individual medley with an Olympic rings tattoo visible near his left shoulder-blade.
An IPC spokesperson said the rule pertaining to the Paralympics — which covers all sports — was new going into 2012 and will be fully enforced for the first time in Rio.
MORE: London gymnastics medalist gets elaborate Olympic tattoo
Missy Franklin broke into tears reading a letter to her parents in a mock press conference in a spot for Minute Maid, one of the four-time Olympic champion’s sponsors since turning professional a year ago.
It was filmed in April near her home in Denver.
Franklin has split time training and competing and working with companies including GoPro, Laureus, Minute Maid, Speedo, United Airlines, Visa and Wheaties.
Franklin has said the sponsor commitments will curtail in the middle of May, when she starts a blackout period to focus on training for the U.S. Olympic Trials, which are June 26-July 3 in Omaha and air on NBC Sports.
VIDEO: Franklin revisits ‘biggest sacrifice’ in GoPro series finale