• Insists IOC must keep it on programme beyond Tokyo 2020
• "The return of golf has exceeded all expectations" - Gary Player
OLYMPIC GOLF | GARY PLAYER
Gary Player has called upon the International Olympic Committee to keep golf in the Games beyond the Tokyo 2020.
The nine-time major winner, a vocal advocate of Olympic golf and team leader for the South African sides that contested both the men’s and women’s events in Rio this year, said that he hopes the sport has done enough to convince the IOC to keep it on the programme when it comes up for review next year.
Read more -> Gary Player relishing Rio experience
“The return of golf to the Olympics has exceeded all expectations and will surely etched its mark in Olympic folklore forever,” said Player, writing in a diary on his official website, garyplayer.com. “Hopefully, the IOC will not even remotely consider ever removing it from future Olympics. The golf was not only a huge success but also a beautiful spectacle put on by some amazing golfers and watched by thousands of appreciative fans. Long live golf at the Olympics!”
As I depart #Rio2016 & reflect on the past fortnight, I have made new friends, helped my fellow countrymen & greatly admire all athletes. GP
— Gary Player (@garyplayer) August 20, 2016
Player, 81, also reiterated his disappointment at the players who chose to skip the Games, particularly those who opted out over concerns about the Zika virus.
"I didn't even see a single mosquito" - Gary Player
“As the curtain falls on the first golf tournament to be held at the Olympics in more than 100 years, I look back at my whole Rio experience,” he continued. “Brazil is a country of many extremes. There is poverty beyond belief, unimaginable riches, and everything in between.
“I didn’t even see a single mosquito and that makes me more disappointed in the people who withdrew using Zika as an excuse.
Read more -> Gary Player blasts R&A's driving distance report
“One may ask should Rio ever have hosted the Olympics or should they perhaps have used the money to better the lives of their people? I am not in a position to answer this question but will certainly never forget my experience. I had a wonderful time here and think that Brazil and the IOC did a marvellous job hosting a spectacle of this magnitude.
"Golf was the winner... more countries than ever have joined the International Golf Federation" - Gary Player
“At the end, golf was the winner and having so many new people watch golf we can only hope smaller countries will follow in the footsteps of this great sport. More countries than ever before have joined the International Golf Federation, a great omen for the future of golf around the world.”
Gary Player: Read his Olympic diary
Log-on to garyplayer.com to read Gary Player's diary from Rio.