Acceptance of a sport into the Olympic Games Program

Not only have the Olympic sports changed over time, the rules for acceptance into the Olympic Games program has also changed over the years.

Previous Inclusion Regulations

For a sport to be included in the Olympic Games, the sport must first be recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) under the conditions that it has an International Federation (IF), and that this Federation has held a World Championship competition. The sport may then be included initially as a demonstration sport, and the sport's International Federation may make an application to the IOC for consideration as an Olympic Sport. This application process must take place a minimum of six years before a scheduled Olympic Games.

weightlifting snatchCurrent Inclusion Regulations

In July 2007, the International Olympic Committee adopted more flexible rules to add new sports to the Olympic Games program. These changes have given renewed hope to many sports that have been on the 'waiting list', such as Karate, Squash and Roller Sports. The new system consists of 25 core sports with three “floating” sports. There needs to be exceptional circumstances for a core sport to be dropped from the program, such as a drug scandal, corruption or a massive drop in popularity. This system will start from the Olympics from 2020. However, it is not all good news, as all sports would be up for review after each Olympics. New sports will be included or others dropped by a simple majority vote (compared to currently requirement of a 2/3’s majority vote).

Changes Over Time

There have been many new sports added to the program over the years. Here are a few recent examples:

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