Mike Schebel, Staff Writer
The Summer Olympic Games are a sporting phenomenon that come around every four years. The 2020 games will be held in Tokyo and 11,091 athletes from 206 countries are expected to participate.
The modern day Olympic Games began on April 6, 1896 and have been expanding ever since. In fact, new sports are still being added today.
The 2020 games in Tokyo will see an array of new sports added to the mix. These will include baseball/softball, surfing, sport climbing, skateboarding and karate.
Utica College Professor of Public Relations and Journalism Paul MacArthur provided some insight on the next Summer Olympics. MacArthur has researched history of the games and authored the book “Olympic Television: Broadcasting the Biggest Show on Earth.”
MacArthur described the significance of the games as the biggest global sporting event because in its finest moments it helps people look past national boundaries. There have only been a few instances where the games were put on hold and it was because of World War I and World War II.
MacArthur began his research in 2008 and has been continuing that interest. The games have become something that means a lot to him.
“The games represent a moment where we can forget about our problems,” MacArthur said. “It gives us a chance to be inspired and in awe.”
However, the questions posed are “What do you think the next Olympic sport should be? And why?” This was a tough choice for Professor MacArthur but he narrowed it down to three.
“It’s a tough question but if I had to choose, it would have to be between 3 v 3 basketball, water skiing or billiards,” MacArthur said.
Some other students had varying answers and opinions in regards to the same question.
A popular answer was having golf become a bigger part of the Olympics. Golf has been a major sport for decades and continues to grow in popularity. UC senior Joe Capuano is a big advocate for Olympic golf.
“I’ve been playing golf for years so I think it would be cool to see it in the Olympics in a greater capacity than it already is,” Capuano said. “It would just be nice to see professional golfers represent their country as a team in the Olympics instead of just solo.”
There were also some interesting answers that someone might not necessarily think of when the Olympic Games come to mind. For someone that played a certain sport throughout their childhood, seeing it brought into the Olympics might make them more interested in the games as well.
Utica College senior Nick Ahles said that he would like to see Four Square in the games some day in the future.
“Four Square was very fun and high school, it would get really competitive,” Ahles said. “Seeing professional athletes play it would be extremely entertaining to me.”