The Summer Olympics 2016 are coming up quickly, and if you’re a junkie like me you’ve probably been following the stateside qualifying events for some of the big-name sports like gymnastics, swimming and track.
2016 is bound to be an amazing year for the Games in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, especially for the U.S. The country is bringing top contenders in many of the 28 sports and is expected to return home with more than our fair share of medals.
Most of us are familiar with the popular summer events that will kick off on August 5th. Whether you’re looking forward to seeing Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps face off in pool, the women’s gymnastic team fight to defend their gold, or like me you’re excited about the cycling, running, and triathlon events, there’s definitely something for everyone.
Sure, there’s some interesting sports that also make the cut each year, and the athletes are no less amazing. Have you ever watched the trampoline event? What about weightlifting? If not, be sure to tune in.
What you may not know is that each Games a committee decides which sports will be competed in, and in 2016, two “new” sports were voted into the mix. While they are not completely new to the Olympic Games, neither were included in the 2012 format, making them a hot ticket for 2016.
What’s New to the Summer Olympics 2016
Golf hasn’t been part of the games since back in the early 1900’s. In 1900, there were men’s and women’s individual competitions, and then again in 1904, there was a men’s competition and a women’s team event. It hasn’t been seen since, which is crazy because lately, it’s no longer just a game for stuffy old boardroom executives.
So golf is making a comeback in 2016. The format will be a traditional stroke play 72 hole game, and both men and women will be playing individually on the course. The qualifying standards are a bit confusing, but it’s no surprise that popular favorite Jason Day of Australia is in the running for the men, and the ladies have a number of contenders, including American favorite Lexi Thompson.
While rugby isn’t really an American “thing,” it’s a huge sport on the international stage and has been part of the Olympic Games four times throughout history — in 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924.
There are 16 qualifying spots available and the process for determining qualifying teams began with the men’s 2014-2015 2014–15 Sevens World Series and 2014–15 World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series by qualifying the top 4 teams for the games. Additional qualifying matches have followed, and in the end, the 16 teams will be made up of four from Europe, three from Africa, three from Asia, two from Oceania, two from North America and two from South America.
The USA men’s team was drawn into the Pool A against Argentina, Brazil and Fiji, and the women’s team was also drawn into Pool A with teams from Australia, Colombia, and Fiji. The elimination event will span two days and be played August 6th and August 11th.
What sport are you most excited to see at the Olympics this year? Which athlete’s will you be watching? Be sure to let us know in the comments!