Guest Author - Christine Blachford
With the Olympics in Beijing being a success, thoughts now turn to the 2012 competition to be held in the UK. As ever, some sports might be retired from the lineup and new ones could be introduced. Speculation was mounting for a short while that Formula 1, or at least some kind of motorsport, could make an appearance at the Olympics, but that doesn't seem likely.
Firstly, there's the matter that the Olympics is about human endeavour and therefore discourages any sports that have machinery doing all the work. There are exceptions to the rule, obviously, but that may be more to do with the history of the games, and a new sport would have a tougher road to inclusion.
Secondly, it would have to be a version of Formula 1 that centres on nationalities. To make it a fair competition, the cars would all have to be the same, and this would be more in the realm of A1 GP rather than Formula 1. If you were to use Formula 1 teams, questions would rise over whether the driver's nationality or the team's country should get the medal, and I believe it would all be too complicated to make it worthwhile.
The final problem really lies in the fact that anyone can have a go at diving or tennis, and get good at it. Getting into motorsport can be difficult and costly, and is therefore slightly out of sync with the feeling of the Olympics. Although now it is quite a professional competition, the Olympics is all about letting everyone have a go, and capturing the spirit of the underdog.
For now, it seems as though we will have to live without our drivers getting gold, silver and bronze medals. It seems a shame, because motorsport is an activity that fans can easily get behind. Whilst something like diving can be all about interpretation, and the gymnastic judging has been called into question, in a race, it's clear who's winning. The introduction of BMX racing into the games has been a success, so it doesn't seem out of the question that racing cars could follow.
Perhaps we'll see a form of motorsport at the Olympics one day, but it seems the games aren't quite ready to accept four wheels just yet.