COACH GARY ZAUNER REQUESTS THE IOC TO INCLUDE ‘KICKING A BALL’ AS A 2012 OLYMPIC SPORT
Coach Zauner requests the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to add the sport of ‘kicking a ball’ to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Fountain Hills, Arizona - September 4, 2008 -- Coach Gary Zauner, one of the leading football kicking coaches in the United States, has requested the International Olympic Committee to include ‘kicking a ball’ as an Olympic sport for the 2012 London Olympics.
“The activity of kicking a ball goes back thousands of years.“ says Zauner, “and almost every country in the world currently has a sport which includes kicking a ball.” Zauner adds. “The IOC should recognize the global popularity of kicking a ball, and in its purest form, add it as an Olympic sport event.”
Zauner, who was a National Football League (NFL) Special Teams Coach for over 13 years, coached some of the greatest kickers and punters in NFL history including 17 Pro Bowlers. He is currently a kicking consultant working with some of the NFL’s top kickers and punters (for more information please go to www.coachzauner.com).
Because of his close connection to football, Zauner says he understands why so many American football fans would like to see football included as an Olympic sport, but that is not what he is requesting of the IOC.
“As someone who has been involved in the art of kicking a football for over 35 years, of course I’d love to see the sport of American football included as an Olympic sport,” says Zauner. “However, I realize football will have to become a more international sport like soccer, before that happens.”
Zauner says ‘kicking a ball’ as an Olympic sport is something that could be considered now, and certainly should be considered for the 2012 Olympics Games in London.
Zauner admits he is not sure how an Olympic event would be built around ‘kicking a ball’ but says he has a few ideas that could, and should be explored.
“This event could start as an individual event and then be developed into a team competition,” he says. “It could include kicking one type of ball (soccer, football or rugby) or a combination of these balls. Or, perhaps a new ‘universal’ ball would be designed specifically for this event.”
Zauner says it is the ‘skill’ of kicking a ball, and not the ball itself that is the most important thing.
“What is at the foundation of my request is to see an Olympic event that highlights the skills related to kicking a ball, such as distance and accuracy,” says Zauner. “These are the same skills currently used in Olympic track & field events such as the javelin, discus and hammer throw, and the shot put.”
Zauner admits he doesn’t understand how the process of adding a sport to the Olympics works, but says if it has something to do with the global popularity of a sports activity, then adding an event based around ‘kicking a ball’ should be a no-brainer.
“Kicking a ball is perhaps the most wide spread sports activity in the world,” says Zauner. “So why wouldn’t it be represented as an Olympic sports event.”
Zauner realizes this is no small request he is making of the IOC, but adds “when you take into consideration the global popularity of ‘kicking a ball’ as a sports activity, then it becomes clear the IOC should give this idea serious consideration.”
Zauner is awaiting a response from the IOC regarding his suggestion and looks forward to discussing it with them should they find merit in the idea.
Until he hears from them, Zauner will continue to do what he has spent most of his life doing; coaching some of the best kickers and punters in the world, and those trying to become the best in the world, on how to ‘kick a ball’ with distance and accuracy.
For more information and copy of IOC letter contact:
Coach Gary Zauner
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