Citius, altius, fortius - why not add dartsius? Sports
editor Hayden Meikle, inspired by the recent world
championships, gives eight reasons why feathered flinging
should be at the Olympics.
'Mighty' Michael van Gerwen, of the Netherlands, in action
during the world darts championships in London this month.
Photo by Getty.
A bottomless pool, especially when compared with the many
relatively bland stars in some of the more mainstream sports.
Darts is a sport crammed with big, colourful personalities.
And great nicknames (The Power, Jackpot, Dennis The Menace).
And the classic master (Phil Taylor, who recently won his
16th world title) v apprentice (shaven-headed Dutchman
''Mighty'' Michael van Gerwen) battle.
2 TERMS AND CATCHPHRASES
''Double tops''. ''The oche''. ''Off the island''. ''A
nine-darter''. And, of course, one of the great commentary
lines in sport:''Oooonnne hunnndreeedddd aaaaaannnnd
No leg before wicket, no breakdown, no infield fly rule.
Just a couple of blokes throwing needles at a colourful board
with numbers on it.
The most complicated part of the game is the mathematics
needed to quickly determine how best to get to zero - and you
can let the television coverage handle the calculations for
You can cut the air with a knife during a big darts game
(match? encounter? clash?). And no, that's not because of the
The crowd is close, and loud, and every move the darts
players (dartsters? dartists?) make is closely scrutinised.
If you're lucky, you might even see a little argy-bargy.
Rowdy, raucous, loud and, if we're honest, a bit crass. Test
cricket it is not.
Er, yes. Let's just say few of the darts elite can argue
their body is their temple. But sport isn't just for the lean
and mean. We should celebrate diversity
Off the charts. As much as it pains a newspaperman to say it,
a sport can live or die in the modern era based on its
small-screen appeal. And darts was made for TV.
8 ''FREEDOM OF EXCESS''
Part of a quote from Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the father of
the modern Olympics, who said athletes ''need freedom of
He might have been talking about darts. Here's a story from
Yahoo writer Desmond Kane:''During the world championship
semifinal in 1984, Dave Whitcombe outlasted Jockey Wilson in
an epic battle, but failed to track down his opponent for the
handshake after sinking the winning double.
''An inebriated Jocky had fallen off the stage.''
If that doesn't scream ''Olympian'', I don't know what does.