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Future of Equestrian Olympics

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  • Future of Equestrian Olympics

    Dear Biomch-L readers,

    The following item was received a few minutes ago from the Sports Psychology

    Herman J. Woltring

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Date: Wed, 5 Jun 91 11:55:44 EST
    Subject: Future of Equestrian Olympics
    Sender: Exercise and Sports Psychology

    I came across a posting on the list for horse fanciers, EQUINE-L, that I
    thought some of you might find interesting. Please note the paragraph about
    "Other sports". This message was sent by Virginia Benjamin

    ----------------------------Original message----------------------------

    As reported in the Chronicle of the Horse, May 24, 1991, p. 80 and May 31, 1991
    pages 2 and 51, the International Olympic Committee's Program Committee has
    recommended the elimination of "artificial team events" where the individual
    competitors scores are tallied as a team score (and this is the way the eques-
    trian events are scored) in an effort to reduce the number of so-called minor
    sports and thus limit the size of the Olympics.
    As John Strassburger, editor, notes:"If IOC officials really want to eliminate
    the equestrian sports, cutting the team competition will do just that because
    the team events are the heart of the equestrian Olympics. From 1912 until the
    '50s, the Olympics were the only international equestrian championship. And
    since all the teams consisted of military officers trained at each nation's
    cavalry school, the Olympics were an extremely important competition between
    each national school. Who knows how much the exchange of theories and tech-
    niques at this one event did to advance horsemanship?
    Today, the importance of the team events is more material. Despite the many
    international championships, the Olympics remain the centerpiece of each
    nation's fund-raising and training efforts. It's the glory of sending the team
    that raises money. 'Contribute $25 to send Mike Plumb to Barcelona' doesn't
    Yes, the Olympics are on the verge of being unmanageable and entirely too
    expensive to produce, thanks to the number of sports added in the last 20
    years. But a review of which sports belong should count tradition and history
    as a major consideration. Unlike the minor sports, equestrian events actually
    draw a crowd--30,000 people came out every day at Los Angeles in 1984 (even for
    the jumping training event), and about 250,000 watched the 1990 World Equestri-
    an Games in Stockholm." (end of Strassburger's remarks)
    The news coverage quotes Robert H. Helmick, president of the U.S. Olympic
    Committee, affirming that no recommendation was made without consulting the
    liaison organization for the sport, but Princess Anne, president of the
    Federation Equestrian International, has publicly stated that she knew nothing
    about these proposed changes.
    Other sports which use a similar aggregate team score and which also may be on
    the hit list include gymnastics, snychronized swimming, fencing, biathlon and
    modern pentathlon.
    The full IOC assembly will meet June 13-16 in Birmingham, England to vote on
    this committee's proposals. Anyone who wishes to communicate his/her opinion
    of this recommendation may write to:
    Robert H. Helmick
    President, U.S. Olympic Committee
    2190 Financial Center
    7th and Walnut Sts.
    Des Moines, IA 50309
    FAX: 515-243-7965

    or Juan Antonio Samaranch, President, International Olympic Committee
    or Gilbert Felli, Sports Director, Internation Olympic Committee
    at Chateau de Vidy/CH-1007 Lausanne, Switzerland
    FAX: 41-21-241-552

    "The American Horse Shows Association is mounting a campaign, as are other
    nations," to try to influence the recommendation notes the Chronicle.
    So maybe we can be of individual assistance if we take just a few minutes to
    direct remarks to one or all of the above ASAP.
    ================================================== ============================
    End of original message

    If this is indeed the direction that the USOC and IOC are taking, there
    could be some question as to the future of several NGB's here in the states.
    I can only assume the effect this might have on any of us working with these
    athletes. Any comments or thoughts?
    Thanks for your attention, paul salitsky

    __________________________________________________ _ _______ ______
    < Paul Salitsky Bitnet: > / / / /
    < Pearson Hall 215 Internet: > / / /
    < Dept. of Physical Education > /______/ /______
    < Temple Univ. (048-00) Tel: (215)787-3163 > | /
    < PHILADELPHIA PA 19122 FAX: 215 787 8705 > | /
    < USA > | /______/
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    I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle. -Anonymous