But that's not what this post is about. I told you that so I can tell you this: the article has a paragraph on how the Olympics chooses what events it will have. I haven't seen that anywhere before so I thought I'd share. From the link:
At the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896, nine sports were contested: wrestling, fencing, athletics (track and field events), cycling, tennis, swimming, weightlifting, gymnastics and shooting. Over the years, that number has increased significantly with the inclusion of everything from table tennis to taekwondo, from basketball to badminton. While many of these new additions have stuck around, others have been phased out indefinitely for one reason or another by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which in recent years capped the number of sports contested at the Summer Olympics at 28 (there will be only 26 at the 2012 Summer Olympics). Some sports, such as tennis and archery, have been discontinued and then, years later, reinstated. Currently, to be included in the Summer Olympics, a sport must be practiced by men in 75 countries spanning four continents and by women in 40 countries across three continents. Also, unlike some early Olympic events, no motors are allowed.So there you have it. You'll note that the article mentions that there are two open spots for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. What will replace it? From Wikipedia:
The 2016 Summer Olympic program is scheduled to feature 28 sports and a total of 38 disciplines. There were two open spots for sports and initially seven sports began the bidding for inclusion in the 2016 program. Baseball and softball, which were dropped from the program in 2005, karate, squash, golf, wake boarding, roller sports, and rugby union all applied to be included. Leaders of the seven sports held presentations in front of the IOC executive board in June 2009.
In August, the executive board initially gave its approval to rugby sevens—a seven-man version of rugby union—by a majority vote, thus removing baseball, roller sports, and squash from contention. Among the remaining three—golf, karate, and softball—the board approved golf as a result of consultation. A decision regarding the remaining two sports was made on October 9, 2009, the final day of the 121st IOC Session at which Rio de Janeiro was named as host. A new system was in place at this Session; a sport now needs only a simple majority from the full IOC for approval rather than the two-thirds majority previously required.
On October 9, 2009 the IOC voted to include rugby sevens and golf on the program for the Games in Rio. The other 26 sports were also confirmed with a large majority of the votes. International Golf Federation executive director Antony Scanlon told Olympic news outlet Around the Rings that the top players, including Tiger Woods and Annika Sörenstam, would show their continued support of golf's Olympic involvement by participating in the events.
Rugby and golf to be added. That gives us all four years to figure out how the heck they play rugby!