Rugby and Golf Return to Olympic Games

After a long time away, two old friends have returned to the Olympic Games.

This morning in Copenhagen, IOC members voted to include golf and rugby (rugby sevens to be exact) in the sport program for 2016. Last Friday we found out where that program will unfold: Rio de Janeiro.

Rugby sevens was voted in by a landslide of 81-8. Golf earned 63 votes for and 27 against. They will be the first new sports in the summer Games since triathlon was voted back in 1993 to join the 2000 program. In 2016, the Olympic program will comprise 28 sports with the two new additions.

“New” is not technically correct, as both sports have been contested before in the Olympic environment. Golf was contested at the 1900 and 1904 Olympic Games. The last man to win an Olympic gold medal in golf is Canadian – George Seymour Lyon was Olympic champion in St. Louis in 1904.

Rugby’s traditional 15-person game appeared in four Olympic Games early last century, its last Games being those of 1924. Rugby sevens features seven players a side, three-man (rather than eight-man) scrums and is a faster game than the traditional version. Its first sanctioned international tournament was in 1973 in Scotland.

Olympic rugby will likely feature 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams. For golf, 60 men and 60 women will compete in a 72-hole tournament.

The other sports vying for a slot in the 2016 Olympic Games were baseball, softball, karate, roller sports and squash. Today’s vote, however, was only about whether to include golf and rugby sevens.

For more on international rugby visit .

For more on international golf, visit .