WFDF have been pursuing the Olympics for years now, targeting the 2028 LA games, but is joining the Olympics a good move for ultimate? As others have pointed out, joining the Olympics is only possible if we brush some of ultimate’s key values under the rug. But perhaps that trade-off is worth it, for the vindication of finally being at the big boys table, to show off our sport to the world and to provide once in a lifetime experiences to the athletes talented enough to represent their nations at the games.
The Olympics are an organisation that causes great harm. Kurt Streeter’s New York Times article highlights the major problems with how the games currently operate, most notably the sportswashing that takes place when authoritarian nations are hosts, the environmental impacts, the labour abuse and displacement of marginalised communities where the Olympics are held, and the silencing of athlete protests.
If ultimate became an Olympic sport, we would aid in the IOC’s effort to modernise the games and play a small part in fixing their problem with engaging a younger audience. Joining the Olympics would send a signal to people who may be interested in playing ultimate that we are willing to associate ourselves with, and contribute to, the harm that the Olympics causes.