LAUSANNE, Switzerland, April 9. THE International Olympic Committee is poring over dozens of submissions from various international sport governing bodies suggesting changes or additions to the Olympic lineup, and swimming's governing body wants five new events in the 2016 Olympics.
In an article published by USA Today, IOC sports director Christophe Dubi said FINA has officially submitted a proposal to have the 50s of butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke added to the program in Rio de Janeiro. Additionally, the men's 800 freestyle and women's 1500 freestyle were part of FINA's submission to the IOC.
Dubi did not give odds on whether the five races would be added but noted swimming's popularity in the Olympics could give FINA the edge in terms of IOC approval.
“Is it totally different? No, but it's important as well,” Dubi said, highlighting swimming's “super high” ratings. “Every time you put it on TV there is consumption.”
The major hurdle FINA faces is the equity issue with athletics, as Swimming World noted last August. Aquatics (which includes diving, synchronized swimming and water polo) and athletics are very close in the number of events they present, and it has long been believed that the IOC wants to keep it that way. If new events are added to the pool swimming schedule, the balance would skew heavily toward aquatics, with no new athletics events suggested for 2016.
Other suggestions FINA made include increasing the number of entrants in the men's and women's 10K swims from 25 to 30, and growing the women's water polo field from eight to 12.
The IOC will make decisions on the 2016 Olympic program at a meeting on August 9.