6th October 2018 | Argentina
Polo will be a part of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games as a showcase sport at the Campo Argentina de Polo, Buenos Aires.
“We want to try to bring polo a little bit more to all the people and change the perception it is an elitist sport and only for a few,” said Novillo Astrada, one of the finest players of his generation and now president of the Argentina Polo Association. “We want to show polo is a sport people can practise without being super-rich or having a lot of horses, that they can just go and rent horses for the weekend, have a lesson and a nice day with their family.”
The federation of International Polo is still intent on a return to the full Olympic programme despite an unsuccessful bid to be reinstated at the 2020 Games in Tokyo. Novillo Astrada, the president of Argentine Polo Association believes his country- Argentina is the perfect place for the sport to return to the Olympic scene given the history of the sport in Argentina. Argentina’s first Olympic gold medal came in polo, at Paris 1924, and the nation also won the title in the sport’s fifth and last appearance in the Games, at Berlin 1936.
“It could be one of the most important things in our sport in the last 100 years because we have not been involved in the Olympics for more than 80 years, so to come back to the international world of sport is very important,” he said. “I would love that (a full Olympic return) but at the moment we have to be very cautious because that is a decision the International Olympic Committee will evaluate at the right moment. But this is a great little window that is open and we need to get the best out of it. It’s something very good for our sport and our country. We are going to work hard to be in international sports events and if at some point we get to be there (the Olympic Games) that would be great.”