On This Day, in 2009 the 121st IOC Added Olympic Golf for the 1st Time Since 1904
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Though golf has not featured in the Olympics since the 1904 Summer Olympics, the session of the 121st IOC Session held in 2009 chose to re-introduce the sport to the games.
With the rapid expansion and globalization of the sport, the 121st International Olympic Committee recommended adding golf back into the Summer Olympics.
Ty Votaw, who was the Executive Vice President of Communications and International Affairs and Vice President of the International Golf Federation. Along with Peter Dawson, who was the president of the IGF and chief executive of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, were at the forefront of making golf an Olympic sport once again.
Many Current Stars of The Game Pushed for The Revival of Golf at The Olympics
Prior to the vote to reinstate golf into the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympic Games, a presentation by a group of golf ambassadors helped sway the 121st session of the International Olympic Committee.
These ambassadors included: Dawson and Votaw, along with four pro golfers: 3-time major champion Pádraig Harrington of Ireland, Michelle Wie of the United States, Women’s PGA Champion Suzann Pettersen of Norway, and 16-year-old 2009 British Amateur champion Matteo Manassero of Italy.
Dawson was quoted saying:
“We are extremely grateful that Padraig, Michelle, Suzann and Matteo were able to join us to help communicate the genuine interest world-class players of all ages share in golf becoming an Olympic sport.”– Peter Dawson
On 9 October 2009, the International Olympic Committee had their final vote and the vote passed, which officially made golf an Olympic sport for the 2016 and 2020 Summer games.
A Major Success but Flawed by Zika Virus
The 2016 Olympic games in Rio were an enormous success for the sport of golf but were marred by the Zika Virus. The virus was found in the host country Brazil and led many of the world’s top players to withdraw from the competition.
England’s Justin Rose took home the gold medal followed closely by Sweden’s Henrik Stenson. The United States Matt Kuchar took home the bronze in the third position.