Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Should Cross Country Be An Olympic Sport?

Will the world be thrilled to watch runners try to conquer cross courses at future Olympic games?

Some of the sports most prominent figures such as Ethiopians Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie and Kenya’s Paul Tergat seem to think so and wrote an open letter to IOC chief Jacques Rogge laying out their case for the cross country to be included.

The IAAF as the sports governing body is submitting the request to the International Olympic Committee to make cross country a part of the Olympic Games.

It is an interesting proposition considering that baseball and softball were axed, there will only be 26 sports in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Two factors in cross country’s case.

The first consideration is whether cross country will be added to an already bloated Olympic Games. There seems to be an endless number of sports and many viewers already struggle to keep up with all the action. On the other hand, what is one more sport.

The second is a litmus test that I developed for any sport is whether an Olympic sport is the pinnacle of the sport. If not, then it has to go or should not be added.

If cross country were added to the Games, then it would be the most important cross country race on the face of the planet. On top of that the world’s largest apparel makers can serve to benefit from adding cross country to the Olympic.

The fact that BMX cycling, Mountain Bike cycling , and Trampoline have been added, means that cross country should certainly be given a trial run at the Olympic Games.

Let us know what do you think. Should cross country be added or not?

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.


  1. Go for it! Cross Country is one of the purest sports out there. Just running on some grass hills and maybe some trails and mud. Best man or woman wins.

  2. cross country is one of the most mentally and physically demanding sport within all the athletics sports. I was extremely surprised when told that
    X-C wasn't and Olympic sport...