POSTED: September 8th 2015
NewsUpdate

Olympics: Golf ramping up the excitement for the return to the Games at Rio 2016

International Golf Federation (IGF) Executive Director Antony Scanlon (center) announced a free golf exhibit to be held at the Olympic Museum 9 December 2015 to 31 January 2016 / IGF
International Golf Federation (IGF) Executive Director Antony Scanlon (center) announced a free golf exhibit to be held at the Olympic Museum 9 December 2015 to 31 January 2016 / IGF

IOC President Bach met with the whole team to talk about next year's events / IGF
IOC President Bach met with the whole team to talk about next year's events / IGF

IOC President Bach posed with the players in the IOC gardens next to the Baron De Coubertin statue / IGF
IOC President Bach posed with the players in the IOC gardens next to the Baron De Coubertin statue / IGF

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The world's top women golfers got a real taste of the Olympic Spirit with a visit to the Olympic Capital Lausanne to see the Olympic Museum and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters ahead of the Evian Championship in France.

Golf will re-debut next year at the Games after a 112 year absence, the sport was originally staged at two editions of the Games (Paris 1900 and St Louis 1904) then was put off the official program.  

To celebrate the return International Golf Federation (IGF) Executive Director Antony Scanlon announced that the Olympic Museum will devote an exhibition to golf with free admission from 9 December 2015 to 31 January 2016, where visitors can learn everything about the sport before next year.

On the road to the Summer Olympics, seven golfers from five continents, ferried across Lake Lemen to meet IOC President Thomas Bach and played a nearest to the pin contest then had a guided tour of the Olympic Museum to soak up the Olympic atmosphere as they prepare to compete in Rio next year. IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell was also present at the meetings.

IOC President Bach hit a few fun shots with the players at the Museum's gardens and jokingly said, "I really enjoyed trying golf but the passion was greater than the performance!

"For women's golf, it will be a spectacular stage in Rio de Janeiro to promote your sport and to be in the limelight. It will be an exposure you have never experienced before. You will reach another level with your sport," he added.

Shanshan Feng (China), Julieta Granada (Paraguay), Fabienne In-Albon (Switzerland), Caroline Masson (Germany), Paula Reto (South Africa), Alena Sharp (Canada) and Maria Uribe (Colombia) enjoyed the awe-inspiring visit.

"It was really great to learn more about the history of the Olympic Games and it has certainly inspired me to go for a medal! The Olympics is so popular in China and I am determined to represent my country with pride," said World number eight, Shanshan Feng, who is one of China's brightest medal prospects.

"As I'm from South America I've got extra incentive to perform well in Rio. As well as competing, I'm looking forward to the carnival atmosphere at the greatest show on earth," Julieta Granada, who is Paraguay's representative on the current Olympic Ranking.

"Representing my country in the Olympics has been a dream since I was a little girl. Now I have the chance to make this dream become a reality so I'm working very hard every day because I'm sure next year is going to fly by," said Fabienne In-Albon, who is poised to represent Switzerland.

"It was a privilege to sit down with President Bach and the IOC staff and it was great to hear how much support golf has from the IOC in its return to the Games. I'm working really hard to make sure I'm in Rio next year," said Germany's Caroline Masson, who won the nearest to the pin contest.

"I always watched the Olympics growing up in South Africa so it's going to be fantastic to compete and I will do everything I can to play well," noted South African Paula Reto.

"To represent my country and compete for an Olympic medal would be an absolute honour and I'm going to work hard to achieve my goals," added Canadian Alena Sharp.

"For me, nothing will beat playing in the 2016 Olympics in my home continent, South America. I can't wait for golf to return to the Games in Brazil after a 112-year absence and I'm sure the worldwide interest in golf will grow massively as a result," commented Maria Uribe from Colombia.

The players will be competing at the final Major Championship of 2015 being held September 10-13 at Evian, France.

**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-five years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency. 


Keywords · Olympics · Golf


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