Dear Biomch-L readers,

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

Herman J. Woltring

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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.
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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

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