Adam Scott just showed why golf shouldn’t be an Olympic sport – For The Win
You may not follow Olympic qualifying. You may not know all the names of the athletes, or understand the rules of all the sports involved, but in many ways it doesn’t matter. Every four years you turn on the Olympics anyway and know, above all else, that these athletes have dedicated their lives in pursuit of a gold medal for themselves and for their country.
But that’s not the case for 2013 Masters Champion Adam Scott. The World No. 7 announced on Wednesday that he was skipping this summer’s Olympics, which will feature golf for the first time in 112 years, because of his already-busy schedule:
“My decision has been taken as a result of an extremely busy playing schedule and other commitments, both personal and professional.”
There’s no use in getting mad at Scott. In fact, his honesty should be commended. He never dreamed of winning an Olympic medal growing up. It’s an “exhibition,” Scott told reporters last year, and playing simply isn’t a priority for him.
And this is obviously nothing against golf, either. It’s a short list of sports that demand more from its professional athletes, both mentally and physically, and which calls for such a supreme blend of power and precision.
This has everything to do with the context.
An Olympic gold medal should be the highest honor there is to win in the chosen sport. Anything less devalues the entire competition. That’s not the case in golf.
Golfers would rather win the Masters, or the U.S. Open, or the British Open, or the PGA, or the Ryder Cup, or probably the FedEx Cup and its $11 million bonus. Scott could have teamed-up with Jason Day and would have probably been favorites to win, but he would rather stay home and practice for those events. It’s not anybody’s fault, it’s simply the way things are. We can’t expect professionals to care about one thing when they’ve grown up chasing a different carrot.
It could have been different. Perhaps the IOC could have made it an amateur competition, or something different than just another stroke play event. But they didn’t. They invited a group full of indifferent professionals who are each pursuing different goals, and the Olympics is worse for it.