Norman thanks Seve
Great White Shark thanks Seve for golf returning to Olympics
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: April 11, 2012 11:58am
Greg Norman says every golfer teeing it up at the 2016 Olympics needs to thank the late Seve Ballesteros for the sport being back in the Games.
Golf was on the Olympic programme in 1900 and 1904 but has since been omitted from the schedule until Rio de Janeiro in four years' time when it will make its reappearance.
The International Olympic Committee voted to bring back golf back in 2009, but the campaign began years before that and Norman says one of his old sparring partners was at the forefront.
Norman says Ballesteros was massively enthusiastic about getting golf back into the Olympics, and pleaded the case to former IOC boss Juan Antonio Samaranch.
Norman says that when golf returns to the Olympics in Rio that every player there will have the late, great Seve to thank for them having the chance to win Olympic gold.
"In 2016, when that first tee shot is hit in Rio de Janeiro somebody should say thank you to Seve, all the players should," Norman told Sky Sports.
"Having seen the passion Seve had in the 80s, and I'm going to say this until the day I die, golf's back in the Olympics because of Seve, because Seve was the one that was asking questions in my era about why golf wasn't in the Olympics.
"Samaranch was the president of the IOC at the time, obviously he's Spanish, so Seve had a connection there to be able to ask the question.
"I remember playing practice rounds with him and he talked about it. 'We've got to get golf back in the Olympics' 'why isn't it in the Olympics, we're international players?'
"You know Seve was very animated and very passionate in his belief.
"To see where it has come since the mid-80s to where it is in 2016, it is a great story.
"It's 30 years of hard work which was basically triggered by one individual as far as I'm concerned, and I might be wrong, but it was all about his passion about seeing golf back in the Olympics."