An organization known as the New Zealand Federated Farmers is lobbying to bring sheep shearing to the international stage, according to The Associated Press.
“The time has come to elevate shearing’s sporting status to the ultimate world stage,” the NZFF said in a statement.
The movement has its foundation in New Zealand, where shearing is recognized as a sport and where the world shearing championships will be hosted in March.
Some of the sport’s best “athletes” have yielded some pretty impressive results in the past.
Irishman Ivan Scott sheared 749 sheep in an eight-hour period, breaking the men’s world record and averaging nearly 94 sheep sheared per hour. Kerri-Jo Te Huia from New Zealand is the women’s world record holder with 507 sheep sheared in eight hours, or an average of slightly more than 63 sheep sheared per hour.
As impressive as that sounds, the process for sports joining the Olympics takes at least six years, and there is already a long list of hopefuls, including bowling and squash. Therefore, the chances of it becoming an official Olympic sport are slim.
Supporters remain hopeful, however.
“One way would be to make shearing a demonstration sport at a Commonwealth Games, if not, the Olympics itself,” Federated Farmers Meat and Fiber chairwoman Jeannette Maxwell said.
Thankfully, the drawn-out process gives the United States more time to start grooming a world class shearing team to compete for the gold.
Photo via Flickr/Wendy Heyworth