Golfers looking foward to 2016
Updated: 2012-08-05 07:25:41
By Chen Xiangfeng in London ( China Daily)
Golf is not a sport of the London Olympics but it still made its presence felt.
US golf sensation Michelle Wie and legend Greg Norman are in London this week, and both expressed their high expectations of golf to be an official sport of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
"Golf's return to the Olympics is a huge spike for (its) popularity around the world," said Norman, who, along with Wie, was invited by the OMEGA House in London's Soho district to attend the social activity hub.
"From the global prospective, golf will get a huge benefit from that. During the regular tours and majors, you always feel the same because you want to win. But the feeling will be different in Olympics."
Norman has demonstrated a natural talent for golf and has developed a solid legacy with his 91 professional titles, including 20 on the US PGA Tour and two British Open Championship titles.
He is also known as the Great White Shark - a nickname that recalls not only his Australian roots but also his aggressive playing style.
He believed competing at the Olympics will have different meanings to different people.
"Golf has not been in the Olympics for over 100 years, and (golf's) energy will be rejuvenated as the Games get closer and closer," he said.
"In golf, if you don't win, you are a failure. In the Olympics, even if you do not win the gold, you are still admired and respected for finishing second and third.
"That's all we should take away from the Olympics. In sports, it's not about what you win. It's about how you position yourself on a regular basis. It's how you push yourself to be a better person and a better professional."
Wie, who became the youngest player to qualify for a USGA amateur championship at age 10, said she has dreamed of an Olympic opportunity since childhood.
"We all grow up watching the Olympics, but we never have the chance," she said. "So, it means a lot to every one of us."
OMEGA's president Stephen Urquhart also shared brand ambassador Norman's enthusiasm for golf's global growth and what the years building up to the Olympic Games have in store for the sport.
"We have been working with the IGF to find new ways to make improvements to our innovative timekeeping technology to represent golf in the best light possible," Urquhart said.
Current world No 3 Rory McIlroy said he is also hopeful golf will be played in Rio's Games.
He flew to London last week to support his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki in the London tennis event. Wozniacki was later defeated by American Serena Williams in the quarterfinals.
"It's something I am excited to do because when I started playing golf, I never thought that I would be able to play in an Olympics or be able to experience some things that other athletes experience," McIlroy said.
"So, I think that in that way it will be an unbelievable experience. For it to be in the Olympics and for it to be an Olympic sport is great for golf because it will grow the game around the world."