Athletics maintains pole place as No.1 Olympic sport in emphatic fashion

Numbers from the Tokyo Games show that athletics is more popular than anything, but World Athletics President Seb Coe warns we shouldn’t rest on our laurels

In recent years, cycling, swimming and gymnastics have threatened the traditional supremacy of athletics as the largest and most popular Olympic sport. Triathlon, beach volleyball, surfing and skateboarding also leave their mark.

However, athletics remains the No. 1 sport at the world’s greatest show. World Athletics President Seb Coe says this is also not based on anecdotal evidence, but rather on pure statistics.

“With 2.2 million hours, we had the most broadcast hours in Tokyo by far ahead of all other Olympic sports,” he said on Friday in an interview at the end of the year.

“Athletics had the most media articles compared to other sports – around 10,000 -” he added. “We had the highest number of articles shared on our social media, around 700 million, and this resulted in over 62 million athletics social media conversations and the most video views in the entire IOC and Tokyo Olympics.” Apps and website. “

Coe admits he enjoys rubbing this up in IOC circles or mingling with people from other sports associations. But he refuses to become complacent.

When asked whether athletics has been in danger of losing its pole position in recent years or whether it may stumble in the future, he replies, “Look, it’s actually not a bad quality in life, with anything being a little paranoid. While I am President of World Athletics, my intention is to make sure our sport gets stronger, more representative around the world, and that every time we leave a championship we have dates to think about.

“I’m proud to say that we’re the # 1 Olympic sport, but that’s just a metric because there are other sports like basketball that are an Olympic sport, but when you see them in their professional manifestation (it’s huge ).

“So we have to realize that there are other sports and there are other sports that we may not even think about at the moment. I recently read a very interesting article that had a slight glimpse into the future about the fact that there are AI algorithms that are actually trying to figure out what the next sport might look like at the moment. “

Coe says World Athletics plans to work on the sport’s popularity in 2022 and have an excellent opportunity to “make an indelible footprint” at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

The global governing body plans to do this through social media, but without neglecting the role of television. “We can’t underestimate the power of television,” says Coe.

There are also discussions about the production of a Netflix-like documentary series about athletics in a style similar to the Drive to Survive programs about Formula 1 and The Last Dance about the Chicago Bulls basketball team during the Michael Jordan era.

“We cannot rest on our laurels,” he continues. “And while it’s nice to be able to say that we’re the No. 1 Olympic sport, this can’t just be an academic conversation because the biggest challenge we face may not be the sport. It comes from other areas of activity where young people have a shorter focus.

“What they consume in terms of content is (today) much shorter. When you speak to someone on a show, they will tell you that the average length most people prefer to watch a television program is around 7-8 minutes. This means that we have to be very clear that our benchmark is not just sport.

“If our activity is sport, our business is entertainment – and we mustn’t forget that. And that is not to be thrown overboard, what we celebrate as our sport. But we just have to realize that we live in a very rapidly changing world and that sport is just one element of that in young people’s lives. And for some young people, it’s less important than ever. And we have to make sure that we just go with that time. “

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Clyde hoops coach Marc Case maintains fiery type amid uncommon 12 months

CLYDE – In a season that was far from routine, at least one aspect remained consistent for the Clyde boys’ basketball team: Marc Case.

The experienced coach, who has been an integral part of Big Country for over 30 years, was still himself – fiery, emotional and demanding.

And the folks around the Bulldogs program wouldn’t have it any different.

“He just treats you like his own son,” said senior security guard Jacob Roberts. “He treats you like one of his own, and you have to love him for that.”

“Intensive trainer, better guy”

Called “old school” itself, Case’s coaching style is often expressed in yelling – whether it be against officials during a game or against players who make a mistake.

Although Case was toned down compared to decades ago, he said it was difficult to keep his passion bottled up. It has been so since Cooper hired 23-year-old McMurry University and Amarillo Tascosa in 1974. He spent 20 years with Cooper.

More:Marc Case returns to Clyde as a headboy basketball coach

“Sport has always been very emotional for me,” said Case. “I’m just not one of those coaches – I see a lot of these guys sitting with their legs crossed and not getting up much. It just was never my style.

“If this ball goes up in the middle of the jump, a fire will start in the oven and it will keep burning.”

That makes it understandable that Case could be referring to Texas Tech trainer Chris Beard, a friend and former McMurry trainer who went viral this week after his rant after an expulsion.

“I don’t know how you can train and spend the time we spend making the sacrifices we make and not being fully involved in what you do,” Case said. “They ask your players to do that. Sometimes things just overflow. That’s why they have technical fouls.”

Case, 69, has never shied away from sharing his thoughts with officials, but he said his number of technical fouls was low. He values ​​referees, what he calls a “thankless job,” and has always tried to remain professional, even with disagreements.

It is also noticed by officials.

Jeff Groban, a 33-year-old referee, likes to name Case’s games. He got to know the coach off the field, where he behaved very differently.

“It’s actually pretty cool,” said Groban. “I know he’s passionate about the game. He yells and yells a lot, but that’s just part of his personality on the basketball court. All in all, he’s just a really, really nice guy off the court. He gets very intense at the basketball court, but I’m used to it. I’ve seen it for 30 years …

“He’s very popular with pretty much everyone. Everyone knows he’s a very intense coach, but he’s a better guy.”

Players get it too

This intensity is sometimes aimed at players too. It’s a persistent approach that has turned some off but tries to get the best out of its group.

“We have our moments,” said Roberts with a laugh. “You do something bad and then you get yelled at. I like being yelled at. It makes me play harder … The ones who probably haven’t left us earlier this season. But everyone who’s on the team loves it now. “

Scott Campbell, Clyde Sporting Director, lured Case out of retirement in 2018. Campbell said it is important that his staff can be themselves and he knows that Case’s players are better because of their sophisticated style.

“It definitely takes a tougher kid on your mind,” said Campbell. “We’ve added kids to the basketball program for the past few years who realized that for some reason this wasn’t for me. But those who stuck to it, those who followed his course really did.” benefits from it. “

Jacob Roberts, Senior Guard for Clyde, tries when Merkel's Reid defends Hoyle in a District 6-3A game at Merkel High School on Jan. 12.

For Case, it’s about setting standards and complying with them.

“I don’t know if I’ve changed that much,” said Case. “… I think kids still want to know what the parameters are, what your expectations are, what your goals are, and how you are going to try to achieve them. That really hasn’t changed.”

Feisty bunch of bulldogs

Case admits those goals were missed this season, which Clyde finished 14-12 after losing to Jim Ned on Friday.

But the road was not easy for the Bulldogs, whom Case described as “the hardest-working, liveliest bunch I’ve ever trained.”

Three of District 6-3A’s playoff teams won at least 20 games, and Jim Ned, the multi-year performance, finished third, 10-4. Clyde lost three competitions against the top teams in the league by four points or less.

This competitiveness comes as no surprise to Groban, who said Case teams are always made up of fighters.

“One thing about him is that his kids always play hard for him,” said Groban. “Since I’m officiating for him, whether it was Clyde or Cooper … anyone who plays for him you know they’ll come out and play hard no matter what.”

Marc Case, the Clyde boys' basketball coach, expresses his displeasure with a Friday without a call.

That’s what Roberts and the other three seniors on the team did. This group, which includes Monroe Burleson, Jorge Cantu and Dusty Porter, holds a special place in Case’s heart. Because of the unique challenges the pandemic and the entire team bring, it has been a year the coach will not forget.

“They don’t seem to be bothered by anything,” said Case, “whether it’s about the COVID issues or whatever. We lost some really close games that kept us out of the playoffs, but they just kept grinding and continued working. ” Your attitude was great. “

Be continued

This is not the end of the line for Case.

The coach believes the program, which had a 19-2 JV roster, is a step in the right direction. And there is no hesitation in his desire to move on. After all, Case said he struggled to fill his free time during his previous retirement.

“Coach Case and I have already talked about how things will look in the future,” said Campbell. “I know he still feels like he still has a few things left in the tank and I think the kids at Clyde will definitely benefit from that.”

As long as his second stint with Clyde continues, Case will no doubt keep doing things the way he can.

“My plans are if they want me to come back I’ll definitely come back,” said Case. “But I know somewhere on the street I can’t do this forever. When that time comes, all I can do is thank Clyde, the ward, and the school administration for the support they have given me.

“It was just a fantastic situation.”

Clyde basketball coach Marc Case claps Merkel during a District 6-3A basketball game on Jan. 12.

Stephen Garcia is a sports reporter who primarily covers schools in the Big Country. Follow him on Twitter at @ARN_Stephen. If you value local news, you can get local journalists with one digital subscription to