Athletics

Darts should become an Olympic sport

Phil "The Power" Taylor is one of the very best. (©GettyImages)
Phil "The Power" Taylor is one of the very best. (©GettyImages).

Darts in the Olympics. It doesn't sound too far fetched does it? Then why are we not seeing it?

Darts in Britain and throughout the world is a massive game with huge revenues, enormous profits and some of the best technically skilled human beings you will ever see perform.

Think about this for a second: if someone was to tell you to stand in the middle of a room and then try to hit something on the wall that’s the size of a piece of chewing gum with a toothpick could you do it?

The answer is probably no, and although that scenario may be slightly exaggerated it is pretty much what so many legendary names such as Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld, John Part and Dennis Priestley do day in and day out, consistently and effectively.

The Olympics is about showcasing your country’s talents by presenting the most gifted people you can find to compete in events that require hard work, determination and natural ability. Surely darts fits that description. While some sports stars are sat at home resting from a big match or waiting for their bi-weekly training session, the darts players of this world are putting in hours and hours of practice every single day.

The darts fans among you will know the frustration when some poorly informed individual claims that darts requires no skill or that it is a game for middle-aged, overweight men in the pub, because we know that the sport (and yes, it is a sport) requires nothing but the utmost dedication of one’s life.

Those of you who have been to places like Alexandra Palace for an Ally Pally darting weekend will no doubt admit that it is one of the best atmospheres a sporting event can produce. That sort of buzz, that sort of electricity surrounding an Olympic event would be unparalleled and would be beneficial to all concerned.

For the first time, people would be talking about a 33 leg thriller in the gold medal match of darts and not about who won the 100 metres.

The critics may argue that there would be no way to accommodate darts or that the crowds may not be big enough to generate the kind of ticket sales that other events will, but again those are the people that don’t know the effect that darts has.

It could easily take the place of wrestling and the ticket sales would be through the roof, as proven by every single darting event for the past two or three decades. Every single week darts players play in front of sell-out crowds, even if they are outside the top 64.

Adding darts to the Olympics would allow Great Britain to be represented by players such as Robert Thornton, Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis, Taylor, Wes Newton, James Wade, Mark Walsh - the list goes on.

You can't say that this cannot happen; it already has. The World Cup of Darts has been played for three years now, plus it has twice been won by England. By not lobbying for the inclusion of darts in the Olympics, we are throwing medals away that we have a good chance at winning. So are the Dutch, the Finns, the Australians, even the Americans and the Germans.

This sport has so much history to offer to the world and to the Olympics. From the early legends of the game such as Eric Bristow, Jocky Wilson and John Lowe, the beginning of the Taylor reign - when he won his first title in 1995 - all the way to the present day where new faces are emerging, records are constantly being broken, the television rights are worth a fortune and the sport of darts is fast becoming one of the most popular in the world.

In late 2012, we lost one of the greatest men to ever grace a microphone and a sport. Sid Waddell passed away and so did a part of darts. Apart from his usual wacky expressions what would he say if he were still here? We all know that he’d be trying to get the sport he loved onto the biggest stage possible. And so should we.

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Topics:
Athletics
Olympics

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