American football should be in the Olympics. Eventually, it could be.
The folks at USA Football advise PFT that the International Olympic Committee granted the International Federation of American Football provisional IOC recognition during today’s IOC meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The move, which reverses the IOC’s May 2013 stiff arm to the IFAF, means that a vote on adding American football to the Olympic games could happen as early as 2017. If that occurs, American football would become a sport in the 2024 Summer Olympics.
(After this past weekend’s games, American football could be far more compelling as an event in the Winter Olympics.)
“IFAF is proud to receive this recognition and join the Olympic family,” IFAF President Tommy Wiking said in a news release forwarded to PFT. “The enduring ideals of sport that comprise the Olympic Charter reside in our game’s timeless values and in the spirit of the millions who love to play it.”
Sixty-four countries on six continents currently have national federations of American football.
During the most recent Summer Olympics, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told a certain Internet hack who was hosting a certain well-listened-to national radio program that American football “absolutely” should be among the many sports. That development absolutely would help fuel the sport’s international growth.
While it would result in an easy gold medal for the United States in the first several Olympic games including football, more countries will become more competitive over time.
Until then, there’s always the bronze medal game.