There is no drug-testing in ultimate.
That's it. That is the biggest obstacle between now and Furious George wearing Olympic gold in 2016 is the complete lack of drug tested in or out of competitive ultimate. And possibly Sockeye. The IOC has a list of Recognised International Federations, and WFDF is not on it. To be recognised as an International Federation by the IOC, "must apply the Olympic Movement Anti-Doping Code and conduct effective out-of-competition tests in accordance with the established rules" (source). Now I'm sure the WFDF and UPA and AFDA and whoever else are not opposed to the World Anti-Doping Authority's principles and regulations, but the implementation of a drug testing process is difficult and costly. And don't even think about out-of-season testing.
But that's not the only thing stopping us.
There's no room
In 2002, the IOC ruled that future Summer Olympics would be limited to 28 sports, 301 events and 10,500 athletes . It took them a little over 6 years to break these self-imposed limits (Beijing had 302 events and 11,028 athletes). Baseball and softball have already been canned for the 2012 Olympics probably because of lack of interest and support from the international federation, but for the far more likely reason of those sports being quite shit. 2012 will go ahead without any replacements (26 sports, 300 events), but there are seven sports on the agenda to be added for 2016.
It's a team sport
The Ancient Olympics were all about individual pursuits - who could run the fastest, jump the highest and throw the furtherest. The modern Olympics like to replicate the ideals of the ancient Olympics, except these days there's women competing, and no one is naked. If you look at the list of 26 sports for 2012, there's only 8 strictly team sports. I'm not counting the likes of rowing, tennis and sailing because they have individual events as well as team events. With the IOC looking to reduce the number of total competitors at the Olympics, they are going to heavily favor the addition of individual sports rather than team sports.
It's not actually that popular
On the grand scheme of things, ultimate isn't very popular. In Australia, when you look at the number of registered players, we rank somewhere around canoeing. In the US, depending on who you listen to there's anywhere between 100,000 and 500,000 players, but there are only around 30,000 registered with the UPA. The requirements for ultimate to be considered as an Olympic sport are...
- That it is competed in by men in 75 countries across 4 continents.
- That it is competed in by women in 40 countries across 3 continents.
- All these countries have a national governing body hosting a regular national championship.
There's a bit of a queue formed
Next year, when the IOC Assembly goes down in Copenhagen, the IOC will consider the applications of seven sports for inclusion in the 2016 Olympics. Softball, baseball, golf, rugby, squash, karate and roller sports. Karate and squash are probably best placed, with golf also up there. Rugby 7s would be preferred over union as there are more countries that play, less infrastructure required and less athletes overall. I have no idea what roller sports entails exactly, but if it's anything like this, then sign me up.
For all my pessimism, there's actually some good signs that it may be included some day down the track...
It's not completely unknown to the IOC
IOC officials checked out the ultimate events at the 2005 World Games and were reportedly very impressed with the skills shown. Admittedly, this was a modified version of the game (6 v 6), but it's still a good sign. But the part that impressed them the most? The self-officiation.
It is very equal-opportunity friendly
Part of the Olympic charter states that competing in sport should not be restricted because of gender, race, religion or financial situation. One of the best things about ultimate is how cheap it is to play. And how inclusive any game can be.
It is relatively inexpensive to run
For many Olympic events, new facilities are required to be built. Or the host city builds a new facility just because they can. Sports such as beach volleyball, slalom canoe/kayak, rowing, equestrian and BMX require specific, or even purpose built facilities. Ultimate can easily use existing stadia.
I hope that all cleared things up for you. Any questions?