I met some spectators, who were wondering why darts has never been an Olympic or Paralympic sport. After all, Archery is, and they get a bow to fire their arrows.
Just as in other Olympic and Paralympic events, a huge amount of skill is definitely required in darts, as anyone who has tried to hit a treble 20 – let alone three in a row – would know.
Stamina is also key: at Lakeside the final is over 13 sets, each played under enormous pressure and the heat of the TV cameras.
Strength is perhaps less important, although strength of character is certainly integral, as anyone who has seen Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams or Ted ‘The Count’ Hankey play would know.
Ted 'The Count' Hankey:
Neither is speed especially vital (darts players are no match for sprinter Usain Bolt, who won three gold medals at the Beijing 2008 Games), although ’Wolfie’ is reputed to have walked 25km during a week-long championship (he was wired to a pedometer during his matches).
Martin 'Wolfie' Adams at the oche:
Despite this, many would still argue that it doesn’t involve enough physical exertion. Is darts more of a ‘game’ or ‘pastime’ than a ‘sport’? If so, why not include other ‘games’ or ‘pastimes’: pool, billiards, chess or fishing, for example?
Sports come and go: past Games have featured Tug-of-war, Golf and Powerboating. More recent additions include Beach Volleyball and the Triathlon.
In fact, sports at the London 2012 Games were decided by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2005. The London 2012 Organising Committee is not involved in these decisions although we take great interest in the results.
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