ST PETERSBURG—In a shocking development that has left much of the ultimate and sports community in a state of confusion, the World Flying Disc Federation has refused to recognize the International Olympic Committee.
The IOC had earlier today officially recognized WFDF as the international governing body of ultimate, setting up a possible Olympic appearance in ultimate’s near future. WFDF, however, declined to reciprocate.
WFDF President Robert Rauch addressed a crowded room of sports journalists in Russia this morning.
“The World Flying Disc Federation has great respect for the IOC,” said Rauch. “The IOC has a long history of excellent organizational skills and an impressive membership base. But while we are grateful to the IOC for its consideration, we cannot at this time offer our own recognition in return.”
Rauch cited concerns over fundamental organizational values.
“WFDF feels that the Olympics have a long way to go in terms of gender equality, youth participation, and particularly sportsmanship. The Games’ reliance on referees and officiating removes all responsibility for honorable, spirited play. Just look at what happened in Badminton last year. Nothing like that could ever happen in ultimate.”
Added Rauch, “Of course, we are also extremely wary of the troubling cultural association of the Olympics with the use of illicit substances. Far too many Olympic medalists, particularly in high-profile events, have tested positive for banned substances, and we at WFDF want nothing to do with it.”
Asked whether the incomparable media exposure afforded by the Olympics would outweigh the clearly inferior spirit of competition at the Games, Rauch responded:
“Look, since when has ultimate been about getting recognition for what we’re doing? Why do we care what outsiders think? This game should be about the simple joy of competition. Who cares about being seen on TV, or being given gold medals by some global sports body, or being seen by the worldwide sports community for the athletes that we are? Competing on the high-profile international stage? This isn’t us. I mean, honestly, what do we stand for?”
The IOC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.