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The Olympic sports programme haswitnessed many changes since the firstGames were held in Athens in 1896. Whileathletes no longer compete for medals insports such as tug of war, others, such asBMX, taekwondo and triathlon, havesuccessfully been added to the programmein recent years. In October 2009, golf andrugby sevens were added to the sportsprogramme of the 2016 Olympic Gamesfollowing a vote at the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen."Both golf and rugby are very popularsports with global appeal and a strongethic," said IOC President Jacques Rogge."They will be great additions to theGames."In order for the Games to remain bothexciting and relevant to future sportinggenerations, the IOC decided in November2002 to conduct a systematic review of theOlympic sports programme after everyedition of the Games.There are several factors that must betaken into account when deciding if a sportis suitable for inclusion on the Olympicprogramme, including youth appeal,universality, popularity, good governance,respect for athletes and respect for theOlympic values."We are confident that both sports will appeal to the general public, acrossgenerations and will also bring with them acrowd of dedicated followers," said Rogge.GOLFGolf had been played at two previous editionsof the Olympic Games, with men and women'sindividual events being held in 1900 in Parisand men's individual and team events takingplace in St Louis four years later. When thesport makes its return to the Olympicprogramme in 2016, both men's and women'sevents will be held, with the format proposedby the International Golf Federation (IGF).Following the same structure as professionalgolf's leading tournaments, the Olympic contestwill be a 72-hole stroke-play competition,played over four days, with medals awarded tothe three competitors with the lowest totalscore. Both the men's and women's events will be limited to a field of 60 that will bedetermined from the world golf rankings. As thecountdown to Rio 2016 continues, preparationsare already well underway for the Olympic golftournament, with Antony Scanlon appointed to the position of Executive Director of the IGFin November 2010."Delivering golf to the Rio 2016 OlympicGames is a partnership," explains Scanlon."That means that the IGF is working closelywith the IOC and the Rio 2016 OrganisingCommittee who have been much appreciatedand supportive allies. We have an elaborateproject plan to select and prepare the Olympicvenue, conduct test events and then stage theOlympic competition."In addition to bringing the world's topplayers into the Olympic arena, the IGF is alsokeen to increase participation anddevelopment in golf in those countries that donot have a strong golfing tradition. The benefitsof the sport's inclusion on the Olympicprogramme are already being witnessed, withmany NOCs offering support and funding totheir national golf federations, helping to spreadthe sport to new countries around the world.RUGBYRugby was part of the sports programme atfour editions of the Games between 1900 and1924, and the International Rugby Board (IRB)is busy making preparations for the sport'sreturn to the Olympic arena, working in part-nership with its national federations, NOCs, theIOC and the Rio 2016 Organising Committee.All is being put in place to ensure that rugbysevens' Olympic debut is not just memorableand successful, but also provides the platformfor rugby's growth and development throughout the world."The IRB is proud and honoured to havejoined the Olympic Programme," says IRBPresident Bernard Lapasset. "Our athletes andthe rugby family are hugely excited at theopportunity to showcase our sport on theworld's greatest sporting stage."Inclusion has already delivered a tangibleboost to the development of rugby around theglobe. A recent independent study revealedthat there are now more men, women andchildren participating in rugby worldwide thanever before, citing Olympic Games inclusion as the major driving force."We are excited about the opportunitiesthat Olympic Games inclusion has provided forour national federations across every conti-nent," adds Lapasset. "They now have closepartnerships with their respective NOCs, whilerugby is now being taught in schools in Russia, China and India as a result of thesport's inclusion into the Olympic Programme."The Rio 2016 Organising Committee travelled to New Zealand in February to experience the operational aspects of a Sevens event first hand, while the IRB is also collaborating with national federations and the IOC on the Olympic qualification structure.Below Golf and rugby sevens will be part of the sports programme at the 2016 Olympic Games in RioGOLFANDRUGBY PREPARINGFOR2016 OLYMPIC REVIEW21