I remember when it was first announced that golf was back in the Olympics how proud we were that Canada is the defending gold medalist as the men’s competition got underway on Thursday in Rio.
Unfortunately, a lot of the talk leading up to the competition was about why some of the best players in the world aren’t going to Rio. I just hope that when the IOC gets together after the Games and talks about other sports coming in that it doesn’t mean golf is on its way out.
I understand the players’ schedules and all of their other reasons for not attending, but wouldn’t have been exciting to have a dream team scenario with all of the top players from the world taking part? A gold medal is a special thing.
When it was first announced, I remember thinking this can grow the game. There’s going to be people in China and Brazil and India watching the Olympics and as a kid, I remember watching Olga Korbut and Nadia Comaneci.
I was always a hockey guy, a baseball guy back then, but in the Olympics, I loved watching the gymnastics and swimming and I hope many will feel the same way when they see people having fun on a beautiful, green golf course.
I understand it was a personal choice for the player whether or not to attend, but I hope it doesn’t look back on our sport and it’s taken out of the Olympics. Our guys and girls are helping golf in this country playing in this year’s Olympics and can continue to do so.
There have been concerns in previous Olympics, but I’ve been to Rio and it is an impoverished area and the concerns carried on right up to the start of the games, but I think between the opening and closing ceremonies this year, Brazil will do itself proud despite the financial and political problems.
I hope that helps players realize the benefits of being at the Olympics and the golf shows the powers that be that golf is positive addition to the games for many years to come.