Every four years we get the joy of the Summer Olympics. Here, we have the chance to see nations from all around the world come together and compete for prestigious medals. But there is one sport that is missing off the lineup: chess. So it begs the question, should chess be an Olympic sport?
What makes an Olympic sport?
Altogether, there are 28 sports in the Summer Olympics, with five more heading their way to the 2020 games. While there are several rules that a sport must pass before it is allowed to the games, there isn’t really anything stopping one from landing a place in the lineup. Realistically, the competition must be recognized by the International Olympic Committee, and that’s kinda it. So why is chess left off the agenda?
Handling the size
According to reports, many of the sports must be juggled around to ensure the list doesn’t get out of control. At the next games, we will get the chance to see surfing, sport climbing, skateboarding, karate, and baseball join the agenda. However, many of the cities in the world just aren’t big enough to hold all the athletes! Therefore, the Olympic Committee must put a cap on the number of sports. Otherwise, several countries would never get the chance to host the games. Could this be a clue as to why chess isn’t an Olympic sport?
What makes a sport a sport?
Out of all the sports that are in the Olympics, many would argue there are no cultural or mentally stimulating options. Back when the modern games were in their early days, many of the competitions involved humanities and arts, poetry, theater, and music. To top it off, there were also competitions where people were awarded for their mental efforts rather than physical abilities. Now, it seems as though the sports are all about finding the strongest, fastest, and most agile people.
First major chess tournament
Back in 2012, chess was one of the sports featured at the World Mind Sports Games, but the games stood for more than just a step in the right direction. The competitors all headed to Beijing as the event was held at The National Convention Center. The irony? The stadium also showcased many of the 2008 Olympic games. 150 countries sent over 3,000 competitors to this groundbreaking event, but would it be enough to see chess land a spot at the Olympics?
Should chess be an Olympic sport?
Well, the long and short of it is there is no reason the game should be left off the lineup. However, that isn’t to say we will see it there anytime soon. Chess is hugely popular all across the world, and adding it to the Olympics could bring back that touch of class and mental enrichment that is sometimes lacking from the games. Hopefully, with enough campaigning and determination, we could soon see this game up there with the greats. It could be the start of something beautiful.
Although we may not see chess added to the lineup anytime soon, we can still live in the hope that one day the Olympics may bring back some of their former competitions. For now, we just have to sit back and keep practicing as we bide our time…