POSTED: October 8th 2009

Lomu takes cause to Copenhagen

Jonah Lomu: New Zealand and world rugby legend /
Jonah Lomu: New Zealand and world rugby legend /

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON/COPENHAGEN: Rugby union and golf are just hours away from stepping up into the Olympic family – if the IOC accepts the recommendation of its executive board. Both sports were recommended for inclusion in the 2016 Games by the board at its meeting in Berlin on August 13.

Now they make final presentations to the IOC in Copenhagen and then await individual votes, hoping for the simple majorities which will make all the time, effort and investments worthwhile.

New Zealand rugby legend Jonah Lomu has no doubt about the mutual advantages to be gained from the admission of the sevens version of his sport.

Lomu, who will be a member of the presentation team, said: “The Olympic Games is the pinnacle for every athlete around the world. Sevens is a global sport and of course our top players want to be a part of the Olympic family and experience playing on the world’s greatest sporting stage. They would be proud Olympians."

The rugby team also includes International Rugby Board president Bernard Lapasset, secretary-general Mike Miller, Agustín Pichot (former captain of Argentina), Cheryl Soon (captain of Australia’s women’s sevens world champions), Kenya sevens captain Humphrey Kayange and Anastassiya Khamova, one of Kazakhstan’s top female players and an international referee.

Mutual interest

Lapasset said: “We were honoured to be recommended by the executive board and now we are looking forward to sharing our vision for inclusion with the broader membership. We firmly believe rugby would be good for the Games and the Games would be good for rugby."

Golf's case will be stated, for the International Golf Federation, by a team including Ireland's Padraig Harrington (right), Suzann Petterson of Norway, and Michelle Wie of the United States, along with 16-year-old (British) Amateur Champion Matteo Manassero of Italy.

The golfers will join executive director Ty Votaw and Peter Dawson, chief executive of The R&A and joint secretary of the IGF.

Votaw said: "Golf's bid to become an Olympic sport has received unprecedented support from both amateur and professional golf organizations around the world and leading international players.So we couldn't be more pleased than to have Padraig, Suzann, Matteo and Michelle help to communicate this."

** The IOC's morning business included the re-election of Jacques Rogge who had been standing unopposed to become president for his second term in office.

Keywords · IOC · 2016 Olympic Games · rugby union · sevens · golf · Lomu · Lapasset · golf · IGF · Votaw · Harrington

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

All original materials contained in this section are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Sports Features Communications, Inc the owner of that content. It is prohibited to alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.