SportsEvents Magazine

SEP 2016

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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September 2016 40 www.sportseventsmagazine.com surfing, and baseball and softball for their general appeal in Japan and beyond, as well as the sports' focus on and appeal to youth and the sports' gender equality. That chance to return to the Olympic Games has been long awaited. Karate has been denied by the IOC three times for inclusion in the Games, though its counterparts among martial arts disciplines include longtime fixtures in Olympic competition — judo since 1964 — and even more-recent inclusions — taekwondo since 2000. One theory for the delay in establishing karate as an Olympic sport is that its many styles and lineages make it difficult to choose just one to be recognized officially. Dreaming Of Gold While karate was just approved to go for the gold, ju-jitsu is still hoping for the chance. Sarah Stanton, president of the United States Ju-Jitsu Organization (USJJO), said her governing body is "moving fast" toward IOC recognition, a crucial step to becoming an Olympic sport. "The organization was restructured, as well as its bylaws and operations, to coincide with the requirements of the IOC," she said. "The United States Olympic Committee currently does not recognize ju-jitsu and will not until the IOC fully recognizes ju-jitsu." Despite ju-jitsu not being recognized as an Olympic sport, the USJJO is poised for membership growth — which is expected to increase even more if it advances to the next level of recognition. According to Stanton, the USJJO offers high-level international competitions, appeals to a broad range of athletes and gains valuable visibility from its partnership with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). That, along with the efforts of various committees, helps drive membership growth. "Over the next year, we will continue to see a rise in our military and veterans membership, both in general membership and competitors," she said. "Our program for individuals with various disabilities — the three categories of disabilities we will be focusing on are: physical impairment, visual impairment and intellectual disability — will also see growth this year." A Medal Sport Team USA's success in judo at the 2016 Rio Games — Kayla Harrison earned a gold medal, Travis Stevens a silver — is part of an Olympic tradition that stretches back to the sport's debut at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games. Harrison cemented her legacy in Rio, where she followed up her gold medal from the 2012 London Games with her second gold medal in the 78 kg weight class, making her the first American judo athlete to win two golds, according to USA Judo, the national governing body. Stevens, who overcame a severe bacterial infection in his leg, fought his way to a silver medal, the first for Team USA in t SPORT Report

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