Date: August 14, 2009

Golf wins Olympic nomination

In another milestone for Australia s most popular participation sport, golf has been successful in being one of the two sports nominated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board for inclusion at the 2016 Olympic Games. Golf will now be presented to a full IOC session to be held in Copenhagen on October 9 for a final vote. Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt said it was fantastic recognition for the sport of golf and its global popularity and standing. This is obviously an important step in golf being introduced into the Olympic Games, which is something that we and over one million Australian golfers would dearly welcome, Pitt said. We are hopeful this decision is ratified later this year and we look forward to working with the Australian Olympic Committee to do what we can to ensure Australia s successful entry into the Olympic Golf Program. The announcement comes after meetings between the International Golf Federation and the IOC Executive Board in Switzerland in June which included presentations from global golf ambassador Annika Sorenstam and 2010 Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie. Sports across the board gain many benefits from inclusion in the Olympic Games, Pitt continued. We are excited by the opportunity to introduce a new audience to golf and to attract new people to our game. It is a great chance to showcase the world s best golfers in various locations around the world. We are delighted by the prospect of Australian golfers having the chance to represent their country at the Olympics and most of all by the thought that somewhere in Australia in the near future a girl or boy will pick up a golf club for the first time and actually be starting their own Olympic journey. John Coates, President of the Australian Olympic Committee and IOC member is supporting the inclusion of golf and rugby 7 s in the 2016 Olympics. Coates said both sports are universal, offer absolute gender equity and have strong youth appeal Tiger and the other top players realise an Olympic medal takes pride of place in any trophy cabinet Coates said. And in the women’s ranks, Karrie Webb wrote to me a few months ago urging me to support the inclusion of women’s golf so she could play at the Games . World Golf Hall of Fame member Greg Norman, who will return to Australia in December for the 2009 Australian Open, has also lent his support to the bid. The final vote on October 9 will coincide with the announcement of the host city for 2016 Games.