Belfast Telegraph

GAA should make Olympic bid

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

With Steven Beacom

This time last year Olympics fever was starting to grip us all with the prospect of ‘the greatest show on earth' coming to London.

Twelve months on, the Lions tour of Australia and the Ashes will take centre stage, with old favourites such as Wimbledon, The Open and Ulster GAA Championship vying for attention.

The Olympic dream continues, though, for many athletes from Northern Ireland and across the world as they train and compete in their various disciplines with thoughts on Rio 2016.

In Brazil, golf will be in the Games for the first time. And this week the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decreed that squash, baseball/softball and wrestling would face off in September to decide which gains entry in 2020.

On the same day several other ‘sports' were eliminated from the shortlist by Simon, Amanda, David and Alesha, sorry... wrong show.. it was IOC President Jacques Rogge and his team.

The ‘sports' put forward were wushu (you've got to be kidding), wakeboarding (seriously?), roller sports (come on!), karate (fair enough) and sport climbing (borderline), before being told ‘thanks, but no thanks'.

I haven't been interested in wrestling since Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks, so squash would be my choice. Mind you, if baseball/softball wins surely gaelic games must make a bid for 2024.

Of course all the Ulster players would want to play for Ireland. They would surely win gold. But what of those left out? What if Team Great Britain and Northern Ireland came calling? Let's not get started on this. We have enough problems with Rory McIlroy's Olympic identity!

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