Don’t mess with English Heritage, lads, because they are deadly serious about medieval sports.
EPA Images/Boglarka Bodnar
English Heritage have announced plans to lobby the International Olympic Committee, in an attempt to get jousting included on the roster of Olympic sports.
The Guardian reports that the organisation has held preliminary talks with the International Olympic Committee and the Fédération Equestre Internationale, and that an online petition is set to go live on Thursday. English Heritage hope to get jousting recognised as an Olympic event in time for Tokyo 2020, arguing that the athleticism, agility and equestrian skill required to joust merit the sport's inclusion in the Games.
Moreover, an English Heritage spokesman has claimed they are "deadly serious" about Olympic jousting. They really want to stress how serious they are, perhaps because their campaign feels a bit like an improvised sketch from Monty Python's Spamalot.
Lucy Hutchings, English Heritage's head of projects, said: "We are being deadly serious (!!!) Jousting is an incredible spectator sport, a really fascinating thing to watch. The skill of the knight and the horses make it a great thing to witness... we absolutely believe it deserves its place at the Olympic table."
Tokyo has apparently been considering skateboarding, climbing and surfing as alternative inclusions to the Olympic roster. "If skateboarding can be included, then jousting has a good chance," Hutchings said.
The difference between skateboarding and jousting, of course, is that skateboarding almost never ends with a man being skewered on the end of an eight-foot medieval lance. Still, we want to see justice for jousting as much as the next lot of patriotic Englishmen. In fact, 'Justice For Jousting' would make for a decent name, if English Heritage ever decide to go in for a rebrand.