This morning I was up very early with a sick kiddo. NBC just happened to be showing Olympic coverage of men’s curling. So, I cuddled with a coughing trail toddler and watched stones glide down the ice.
Curling gets a lot of grief for being an Olympic sport. So does ice dancing, rhythmic gymnastics and race walking, while snowshoe enthusiasts are left behind saying, “What about our sport?”
After all there is a governing committee for snowshoeing in the United States, the USSSA. There is a National Team for men, women and juniors. There are nationally sanctioned races. There is a National Championship and the US just sent a team to compete in the World Championships! But, according to one article, the USSSA needs to step up their game with better “racing circuit consistency and continuity” if they want the International Olympic Committee to take notice.
Those who want to see snowshoeing as an Olympic sport say that it’s awesome, fun to compete in and has potential but it needs worldwide growth to be recognized by the IOC. The best way to grow a sport is through a sponsors with a lot of money, a strong governing committee, a few superstar athletes and a media blitz (I’m pretty sure that the sales of things like ski’s, snowboards, and skates rises when the winter Olympics are on TV).
But, not everyone wants to see snowshoeing in the Olympics. Some say that snowshoeing is nothing more than hiking on snow, boring to watch or that the very essence of snowshoeing is not one of competition but one of recreation and transportation.
Personally, I’d rather watch snowshoeing than curling at 4:30 am. I’m not a snowshoe racer, but I grew up on Nordic ski’s and even dedicated years and years of my life to trying to make the National Biathlon Team (I never did) so I know a thing or two about obscure sports.
Unfortunately, though when it comes to the Olympics one thing matters…
“There is no such thing as Olympic tetherball-they made it all up for the ratings!” (30 Rock)
Ratings. Would people watch and get excited about snowshoeing in the Olympics?
I would, but I also want the IOC to bring back horse skijoring.
What do you think? Would you watch a snowshoe race? Should snowshoeing be an Olympic Sport?
p.s. if you’ve always wanted to try snowshoeing you can catch our ‘how to snowshoe’ blog series every Wednesday!