As you watch Olympics this year, you can’t help but notice how popular a lot of the events are becoming. Some of this can be attributed to the social buzz surrounding these Olympic Games. Though most fans don’t want to hear about the results of certain events through social media, they still tune in to either the online or to the late night NBC broadcast. NBC has allowed viewers to watch certain events that they had not watched before and increase the views for popular events like swimming, soccer and beach volleyball.

We finally get the option to view the sports that our closest medal-count competitor, China, receives medals in, such badminton, table tennis, and the shooting events. In fact, archery became one of the most watched events, primarily because of the movie Hunger Games and its appeal to the younger generation. With all these sports, there is plenty of events to choose from, but you can’t help but think what sports should be added along with these and which sports do not deserve to be in the Olympics.

Currently, the sports that are included in the Olympics give plenty of countries opportunities to win medals, but not all of them are entertaining to watch and some are repetitive. For instance, badminton is an intense match-up, but it is so similar to table tennis and tennis that it doesn’t seem like it belongs in the Olympics. And when you have teams that cheat to get a medal in this type of sport, it may not be in the IOC’s best interest to host an event in which almost 42% of the singles medals since 1992 have gone to a single nation (China).

A dark “horse” sport called equestrian is a sport of style and elegance. While this event has been around since 1900 and is prominent overseas, there are events that appeal to more people than do events that just show horses jumping and dressage. I respect the riders but I would rather see a horse race or polo.

Some events for which the Olympics need to showcase more generate more buzz and competition for are Handball and Water Polo. Both sports require strength, finesse, and strategy to defeat your opponent, and is widely entertaining. They are fast paced and combine some of our favorite sports into one (including basketball, football, soccer, and hockey). Thanks to NBC, people are starting to follow for the first time these sports and people are excited about the possibility to play. There needs to be more broadcast about these sports and maybe more advertisement about our country’s athletes in these events.

Golf and rugby are slated to enter the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, respectively, so they should provide some added excitement to those who follow the PGA Tour and also to global rugby fans. For golf, the inclusion may not matter as much since the players who strive to win major championships may choose to appear due to contractual obligation but rugby could be something that Americans get excited about since rugby is not prominently featured on domestic American television.

American football is not included in the Olympics (nor should it be, in my opinion) so rugby would be the closet thing to football that sport advocates could see. However, the only problem I see occurring is recovery time for such a physical sport. These guys can literally kill themselves in one match so it would be hard to fit in multiple matches in 2 weeks without injury. We will see how this transitions back as a potential Olympic sport in 2016.

While the previous mentioned sports are all sports that could be altered or cut from the Olympics, what are the sports that deserve consideration to be added? The sports below are by no means conclusive, but are opinionated suggestions to increase views of Olympic events.

Since baseball was taken away, what better substitute to play other than cricket? Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world and there is plenty of competition to play against. This sport would give countries like India and Pakistan an opportunity to compete in the Olympics and bridge the gap between that part of the world. The Olympics are about celebrating the global world of sports so this should be included.

Roller Derby
Who doesn’t want to see a contact women’s sport consisting of roller skates and pads? That sounds like a site to see. Much like football or hockey, roller derby consists of a lot of strategy and hitting! This sport is popular among women and should be another sport considered to take advantage of the popularity of female athletes.

While this event was just recently taken off of the Olympics, it makes sense to bring it back in a time when women sports are at their highest peak. The popularity for watching women succeed has grown exponentially and softball was a sport America dominated (yet unaware that Europe had a rich history in baseball). That may be one of the reasons it was taken away but it gave softball a huge stage to perform on and it should be brought back.

While the sport may cause some controversy, it would save a lot of time by having a sport that is like boxing, taekwondo, judo, and wrestling all in one. The worldwide popularity for this sport is needless to say and ratings would go through the roof.

Sure there are plenty of other sports that could be included but these are the ones that excite me. Another sport that could also be added to appeal of the younger crowd is skateboarding. If Shaun White becomes the movement’s front man, then it may actually have a chance for inclusion in the Games.

What sports do you think should be included in future Olympics?

(Photos courtesy of Getty Images, Melissa Jill Photography, and