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Roller Sports at the Olympic Games

What are Roller Sports?

Many people would not know what Roller Sports involve. It is quite a diverse mix of disciplines, including sprinting and endurance events on skates, as individual and team competitions. Some events are held on the road and some on a banked track similar to that used for cycling. There are other sports on skates that could possibly be included in future Olympic Games, such as artistic skating (think the Winter sport of figure skating, but on roller skates).

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Quest for Roller Sports to be included

In August 2009, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted on which two sports to add to the program in 2016. Roller sports was one of the leading contenders, though it missed out when the sports of Golf and Rugby were selected. There were also moves to include skateboarding at the London Olympics, which could have occurred if they competed as a cycling discipline and not as a new sport.

In 2013, roller sports were also on list of eight sports for possible inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic program, but did not make the final short list. However, another vote to add a sport onto the 2020 program in June 2015 found roller sports short-listed with another seven sports. In August 2015, skateboarding and inline speed skating were the two disciplines put forward by the International Federation of Roller Sports (FIRS) during a presentation for inclusion at Tokyo 2020. Although speed skating was shortlisted, only street and park skateboarding events were ultimately put forward.

In 2016, roller sports, in the form of skateboarding, was finally accepted onto the program for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, along with four other new sports. We wait to see if other disciplines of roller sports will also have their day in the Olympic Games limelight.

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