Ultimate Frisbee Recognized by International Olympic Committee

Ultimate Frisbee Getty

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognized disc sports, including ultimate frisbee and disc golf, at its 128th session at Kuala Lumpur this weekend.

The IOC did not say whether they plan to recognize the tradition of drinking between holes (disc golf) or smoking pot after games (ultimate frisbee), too. The question remains whether, in a sport for people who don’t much like sports, the laid-back “competitors” go for that gold-silver-bronze stuff or just invite all the dudes and dudettes up on the podium because, like, everyone’s a winner who plays ultimate frisbee.

“This is an incredible milestone in the 30 year history of WFDF and a further important step for our International Federation in the development of our sport worldwide,” World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) President Bob “Nob” Rauch said in a prepared statement. “There could be no bigger anniversary present to WFDF, which was launched in August 1985, and we are looking forward to continuing to work with the IOC as our partner in promoting Flying Disc sports around the globe.  Since 2013, we have successfully implemented most of the recommendations made by the IOC promulgating best practices for a sport IF. Since 2013, we have established Continental Associations on all continents, increased number of WFDF national member associations to 62 and the number of associations recognized by the National Olympic Committees to 11, focused on the development of organized activity in Africa, modified the WFDF governance structures to increase the influence of athletes in the decision-making process, and further supported the global growth of Flying Disc sport.”

The decision makes ultimate frisbee—sometimes called “ultimate” out of a hesitancy to use a corporate brand name that now doubles, like Kleenex or Q-tip, as a common noun—merely eligible for consideration by the IOC. It would need to beat out baseball, wrestling, and other sports teetering between inclusion and exclusion.

Speaking of inclusion, ultimate frisbee, with its sweaty, smelly white people congregating upon an open field, could almost double for a Ku Klux Klan rally, albeit one minus the robes and burning crosses and where the enthusiasts go by Tanner and Cody rather than Cletus and Buford. The IOC surely grasped this when it compelled the flying-disc outfit to “focus[] on the development of organized activity in Africa.”

“It is important to know that when you hear a white person saying ‘we should do some ultimate this weekend’ or ‘I’m so pumped for ultimate,’ they are talking about a sport and not an ‘ultimate solution’-type race war,” StuffWhitePeopleLike.com, which places ultimate frisbee at #110 on the list (just ahead of “pea coats” but behind “The Onion“), instructs. “Though a quick look at a field full of Ultimate Frisbee players might lead one to surmise that an ethnic cleansing has taken place.”

The IOC, perhaps as a racial offset to its consideration of all things frisbee, also agreed this weekend to recognize South Sudan as its 206th country-competitor.

Similar to snowboarding at the Winter Olympics, ultimate frisbee figures to score a new television audience for the made-for-TV event. If the games could include club swinging in the past and race walking in the present, why not frisbee in the future?