IOC Presidential candidate pushes for more sports

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Swiss IOC Presidential candidate Denis Oswald said Monday he fully expects wrestling to return to Olympics, but said he’d like to see more sports added to the schedule in the near future.

“The IOC started the process of revamping the Games to keep up with a younger audience,” Oswald told Reuters Monday. “But could now end up voting back in the same sport it excluded months ago and making no change to the Games program from the 2020 Olympics onwards.”

Oswald, who heads up the international rowing federation, thinks that fewers athletes and disciplines among the current sports would free up some space to expand the program to candidate events like squash and baseball/softball.

“What I propose is not to limit strictly at 28 sports, but reduce the representation of some sports’ disciplines. Even in major sports there are some disciplines that are not universal. A review in such a way can reduce events and athletes and make room for other sports.”

Oswald also distanced himself from the IOC executive board, saying he believed wrestling’s recommended removal from the Games could have been handled better by his former colleagues.

“I must say I was very surprised that wrestling was eliminated,” Oswald said. “[FILA] maybe did not make the effort, but I think there were other ways to warn them because wrestling is a basic sport. And I am convinced they will come back. We should consider [the Olympics] with a more creative approach. We could have solved the problems if we had this more creative approach.”