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Ireland offers McIlroy chance to carry flag at Rio Olympics

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 

Interesting strategy for Ireland to try and make Rory an offer he can't refuse, the chance to carry the Ireland flag at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics in return for pledging his sporting allegiance to the country. In 2009, he claimed he would “probably play for Great Britain” as he has a British passport, a stance he reiterated last month when he hinted in an interview that he has “always felt more British than Irish”.  

 

Do you think Ireland's offer is enough to sway the world's number one player to play for Ireland?

 

 

Quote:

"I will say to Rory that if he declares for Ireland, then he will automatically put himself in pole position to carry the Irish tricolor into the Olympic Stadium in Rio," said Pat Hickey, president of the OCI.

A native of Northern Ireland, McIlroy is eligible to play for both Ireland and Great Britain in 2016, when golf is re-introduced to the Olympics for the first time since 1904. Having played in prior competitions for the Golfing Union of Ireland, McIlroy created a stir last month when he appeared to be leaning toward playing for Great Britain in Rio, claiming he has "always felt more British than Irish." In an open letter that followed, he clarified his position, stating "I have absolutely not made a decision regarding my participation in the next Olympics."

"What he has done on the world stage for Irish golf is absolutely astonishing," said Hickey, who is also a board member on the International Olympic Committee. "Personally, I would dearly love for him to represent Ireland."

Tennis stars Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova have all carried their countries' flags recently at the Olympics, and Hickey feels the offer will resonate with McIlroy.

"It would suddenly catapault him into the realms of being one of the most instantly recognizable sporting faces on the planet," he noted. "Because make no mistake about it, that's what carrying the flag does for people."

post #2 of 43

I know what I'd say if I was any other Irish athlete who hoped to go to Rio and who had worked their way up through the age classes, maybe won medals at previous Olympics and the opportunity to carry the Irish flag is being offered to someone who has professed feeling more British as a bribe to turn out for Ireland.

 

It wouldn't be warmth and happiness.

post #3 of 43
He's from NORTHERN Ireland for Pete's sake. I'd be rather surprised if this bribe were effective, esp. given what he's already said about his patriotic feelings, but we'll see. Agreeing to it would not go down well with many present fans I can tell you.

If he falls for that "he who carries the flag bla bla bla" argument he's an idiot. Rory is not in need of it and is rising on his own account - not through political nonsense like this.
post #4 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wansteadimp View Post

I know what I'd say if I was any other Irish athlete who hoped to go to Rio and who had worked their way up through the age classes, maybe won medals at previous Olympics and the opportunity to carry the Irish flag is being offered to someone who has professed feeling more British as a bribe to turn out for Ireland.

 

It wouldn't be warmth and happiness.

 

Well said. However, whatever Rory does he will be inbetween a rock and a hard place.

post #5 of 43

What if the Olympic format is match play and it's two man teams like the World Cup (formerly Canada Cup) was. Who of Poulter, Westwood, and Rose would Rory replace, in match play, in 4 years. My guess is it'll be Poulter and McIlroy if he gets a spot or Rory and McDowell if he doesn't,

post #6 of 43

He can do what he likes: there are better 'athletes' to carry the flag, frankly for the UK.

 

If this is what the Irish are reduced to, it says a lot about them.

 

Next thing the IRA or the UDF will threaten his family.

post #7 of 43
lol

This reflects badly on the Irish involved.
post #8 of 43

Assuming the Olympic field were decided today, each country gets 2 players?  Further assuming that N.Ireland is part of GB/UK for fielding an olympic team, then the UK has Rose, Donald, McDowell, and McIlroy.  Only two can play.  That's not good for the Olympics when 2 of the 10 best players in the world are excluded from competing.

 

Both Rors and GMac would be better off playing for Ireland.  The Olympics would be better for it as well.  Of course, that's if the field were decided today, but that is still 4 years away.

post #9 of 43

I thought it was going to be 4 from each country, but the point still applies.

 

15 of the top 25 in the world are from the US, max of 4 of those will qualify. That's why, in my opinion, the Olympics can't become a huge tournament in golf.

post #10 of 43
This has been discussed as nauseam elsewhere on this forum - just do a search. To repeat myself, I agree with you. IMO it's a mistake to have golf in the Olympics but the powers that be want to 'grow the brand'.
post #11 of 43

Rory will have lived in Florida for four years by 2016.  He can play for the USA!  Love to have him on our team!

post #12 of 43
To put an end to this nonsense they ought to determine status based entirely on accent, as analyzed by a computer (from videotape taken in past 6 months).

Me, I'm learning to speak Swahili and I would prefer to represent Uganda. Failing that I would settle for Kenya.
post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas View Post

Me, I'm learning to speak Swahili and I would prefer to represent Uganda. Failing that I would settle for Kenya.

 

That's pretty funny.   Personally, I don't think I'd want to be carrying the flag for Kenya because I don't want to see any photos of myself alongside their distance runners.   I've got a bit of a middle age paunch but am still fairly trim, but alongside their runners like Rudisha I'd look absolutely portly!  

post #14 of 43
I hadn't considered that. Scratch Kenya, I'll go with Tanzania.
post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas View Post

To put an end to this nonsense they ought to determine status based entirely on accent, as analyzed by a computer (from videotape taken in past 6 months).
Me, I'm learning to speak Swahili and I would prefer to represent Uganda. Failing that I would settle for Kenya.

Won't work, GMac will break the machine.

post #16 of 43

lol

post #17 of 43

"A field of 60 players for each of the men's and women's competitions, utilizing the Official World Golf Rankings as a method of determining eligibility. The top 15 world-ranked players would be eligible, regardless of the number of players from a given country. Beyond the top 15, players would be eligible based on world ranking, with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top 15."

 

Here is what 2012 was like: http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-blogs/blog=olympic-talk/post/london-olympics-2012-your-hypothetical-2012-olympic-golf-field-tiger-woods-phil-mickelson-bubba-watson-rory-mcilroy.html

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wansteadimp View Post

I thought it was going to be 4 from each country, but the point still applies.

 

15 of the top 25 in the world are from the US, max of 4 of those will qualify. That's why, in my opinion, the Olympics can't become a huge tournament in golf.

post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by x129 View Post

"A field of 60 players for each of the men's and women's competitions, utilizing the Official World Golf Rankings as a method of determining eligibility. The top 15 world-ranked players would be eligible, regardless of the number of players from a given country. Beyond the top 15, players would be eligible based on world ranking, with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top 15."

 

Here is what 2012 was like: http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-blogs/blog=olympic-talk/post/london-olympics-2012-your-hypothetical-2012-olympic-golf-field-tiger-woods-phil-mickelson-bubba-watson-rory-mcilroy.html

 

 

 

Quote:

I'm surprised the IOC have agreed to this, it opens a huge can of worms for other sports where a few countries dominate.

 

Track cycling went the other way at the last Olympics - 1 competitor from each nation per event. Compared to potentially 9 Americans and 4 Brits for the golf.

 

Just shows how desperate the IOC were to attract golf. Or was it the golf watching demographic?

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