X/C as an Olympic sport?

Opinions...

11 messages
Pethead    pirate
10/07/2012 at 10:38

Apparently, cross-country racing hasn't been an Olympic event since 1924 (according to Wikipedia, I'm not that old!). Does anyone think there's a place for it in the modern Olympics?
I think it would provide extra opportunities for medals to be won, especially as there's a lot of quality African distance athletes around at the moment, but I suppose the other side of the coin is that the best X/C runners (Tergat, Bekele etc.) are among the best 10,000m runners anyway and introducing another event might dilute the standard of competition.
Opinions? 

10/07/2012 at 10:40

No I think it's too similar to track or road and the winners would be the same athletes - I'd rather see fell or mountain running or ultra distance introduced.

10/07/2012 at 10:43

Can't see it myself.  Maybe have it in the Winter Olympics with a specially designed icy/snowy course??    No, considering the main contenders will be amongst the world's best over 5,000m up to marathon, asking them to either fit in another endurance event or drop something else wouldn't be ideal IMO.

10/07/2012 at 10:44

Oh, fell running and/or ultra is a good shout.  Totally different sports.

WiB
10/07/2012 at 11:11

I think XC falls too close to the track and road races already.

Phil - Have discussed an ultra in the Olympics before with a couple of people and we came to the conclusion that 50k or 100k would be the options, 50k is too close to a marathon and there is already a 50k walk so most likely would be 100k. The problem is then that trail races are approximately 7 million times better than road races but they would no doubt stick it on a road course as for example the trail terrain in each country varies so much, home countries would be deemed to have a huge advantage, whereas everyone can train on roads/tracks. It would most likely laps as well (not too bad if they are long laps but could be something silly like 1k laps as it was at the Commonwealth 24 hour race). Still, it would be great to get an ultra distance race into the Olympics.

If they did a trail 100k then the XC guys just need to run a little further and can satisfy both camps

Edited: 10/07/2012 at 11:15
WiB
10/07/2012 at 11:36

I suppose ultimately ultras don't stand a chance because the timescales involved don't make them the most spectator-friendly sports so the commercial viability is pretty much non-existent. 

Let's face it, in terms of participation squash is one of the most popular sports in the world, yet people seem surprised that it's never been an Olympic sport, until you realise that becuase the ball's going so bloody fast you can't see it on the telly!

10/07/2012 at 11:46
I could see us all on here moaning as the XC gold was won on a flat hard surface with some nice neat grass on it.
10/07/2012 at 13:07

I would say yes - but only on the condition that it is held on a proper course - somewhere like a very wet miserable Parliament Hill Fields and 9 miles not this nancy 10K stuff. All the countries would have to erect a tent at the start and wash in the cold showers afterwards.

WiB
10/07/2012 at 15:22
PhilPub wrote (see)

I suppose ultimately ultras don't stand a chance because the timescales involved don't make them the most spectator-friendly sports so the commercial viability is pretty much non-existent. 

Let's face it, in terms of participation squash is one of the most popular sports in the world, yet people seem surprised that it's never been an Olympic sport, until you realise that becuase the ball's going so bloody fast you can't see it on the telly!

Yes, there is also that point!

WiB
11/07/2012 at 12:29
PhilPub wrote (see)

I suppose ultimately ultras don't stand a chance because the timescales involved don't make them the most spectator-friendly sports so the commercial viability is pretty much non-existent.

An ultra with hungry wolves released half an hour behind the runners?  Not sure it fits with the spirit of the olympics, but more spectator friendly and commercially viable.   You could have limited food making it tactical - do I eat this, or drop it for the wolves...?

11/07/2012 at 23:54
PhilPub wrote (see)

Can't see it myself.  Maybe have it in the Winter Olympics with a specially designed icy/snowy course??    No, considering the main contenders will be amongst the world's best over 5,000m up to marathon, asking them to either fit in another endurance event or drop something else wouldn't be ideal IMO.

I agree, it should be part of the Winter Olympics, as it's a winter sport.


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