Badminton is Seemingly Not for the Olympics05 August, 2016
It seems that Badminton will not be induded in the Olympic Games of 1980. This is a piece of news gleaned more or less accidentally with the information, only verbally given at that, that the sports to be included in the Moscow Olympiade of that year will undergo no change from those to be promoted at Montreal next year.
Why Badminton should be treated in this fashion must be most incomprehensive to the followers of the shuttle game.
As long ago as 1964 the International Badminton Federation (I.B.F.) first formally applied for inclusion in the quadriennial festival. Numerous further applications have from time to time, been lodged with the International Olympic Committee, and forms and figures relating to the game have often been completed at the request of the organisers. Never has the I.O.C. made any detailed enquiries as to the requirements of Badminton if it was to be included, and never has the I.B.F. been advised as to whether, if at all, its applications have even been considered in committee. One cannot refrain from the thought that Badminton has been brushed aside. What more can be done?
One must of course sympathise with certain difficultes caused to the I.O.C. in its efforts to minimise what is described as the growing "gigantism" of the Olympiades, and certainly the I.O.C. has caused certain sports to lessen in a small way the number of events which make up the programme for each. But that is, we maintain, not enough to satisfy and be fair to the sportsmen of the world whose chosen recreation is not one of the elite 26 favoured by continual Olympic inclusion.
The Olympic Games were devised and started in 1896 by a small and enthusiastic band of sportsmen desirous of staging a meeting to establish the champion sportsmen of the world. That band of pioneers was self-appointed, as it probably had to be nearly a century ago, but the I.O.C. is still self-appointed and it owes responsibility only to itself. In itself this is a surprising state of affairs in this much more democratic age. The international sports federations and the various national sports organisations of the world have very little to say in the overall decisions reached by the 70-odd gentlemen who compose the I.O.C., some of whom would seem to have little, if any, direct connection with other national or international sports organisations.
If the decisions concerning inclusion were left to national sports organisations - and very many countries now have such - there can be little doubt that Badminton would find a place amongst the 26 sports most widely indulged in, and notably so when certain popular activities do not cherish Olympic aspirations. Badminton clearly passes without question, all of the minimum requirements of the I.O.C. Furthermore,not all of the sports now included in Olympic progmmmes have such a following as does Badminton.
Then, was not the original concept of the Olympic Games one which leaned towards individual rather than team championships? We believe that this concept still exists; yet certain sports which can only be contested by teams continue to find themselves in the Games. Is it right that they should take precedence over widely played individual sports.
Again, as a suggestion towards the elimination of the "gigantism" complained of, why must every favoured sport be included in every succeeding Olympiade? Certain sports clearly belong in every Olympiade, but others equally clearly do not. Why cannot some of the latter be omitted from every third or fourth festival in order to accommodate other qualified sports? Badminton and other worthy sports could then be included in, say, two out of three successive Games.
Badminton has no desire to cause the complete removal of any other sport, but it does feel that some form of compromise could be accomplished.
-- By H.A.E. Scheele, Editor, World Badminton, Cover of Oct 1975 Issue