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English Heritage wants to make jousting an Olympic sport

"We want to make jousting an Olympic sport."

That's about all the English Heritage would need to say to us if we had a seat on the International Olympic Committee. "Yes, you're bloody right. It can replace dressage." 

Given the ancient sport's combination of athleticism, agility, control and equestrian skills, the charity group is sincere in its belief that jousting should gain a spot as an Olympic event.

"We are being deadly serious," said Lucy Hutchings, English Heritage’s head of projects. "It is an incredible spectator sport, a really fascinating thing to watch. The skill of the knight and the horses make it a great thing to witness… we absolutely believe it deserves its place at the Olympic table."

It would make a change from King Arthur's round table. But how likely would it be?

Sports must meet a number of criteria before the Olympic Committee will consider making it an official Olympic event:

  • It must be governed by an international non-governmental organisation that oversees at least one sport
  • It must be played world wide
  • It must be recognised by the International Sports Federation 
  • It must meet a set of rules that vary depending on if it's sport, a discipline, or an event

The charity group is launching a petition to promote jousting's bid for inclusion in the list of 28 games that will take place at Tokyo 2020. It already faces competition from the likes of skateboarding, climbing and surfing as potential new sports. 

"If skateboarding can be included then jousting has a good chance," said Hutchings. 

If jousting can be considered, here some other sports we'd love to see included in a future Olympic event...

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