Wie Pettersen in Copenhagen to lobby for golf


COPENHAGEN – Michelle Wie has no doubts about where an Olympic gold medal would rank in the minds of professional golfers.

Wie arrived in Copenhagen on Wednesday to help convince the International Olympic Committee to put golf on the program for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games in a vote Friday. The 19-year-old American and Suzann Pettersen of Norway tried to dispel the notion on Wednesday that some golfers might view the traditional major championships as more prestigious than an Olympic gold.

'I think it would be the highest achievement for any golfer, or for any athlete, to be part of the Olympics,' Wie said. 'When you represent your country, when you carry the American flag, it takes me to a whole other place. It makes the event so much more remarkable. It just means so much more to me.'

Golf and rugby sevens both need a majority vote by the IOC to be included on the program for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games. Both camps will make a 20-minute presentation before the vote, and are bringing out some of their biggest stars to help sell their case. Tiger Woods will address the IOC in a videotaped message during golf's presentation.

Pettersen said she has been dreaming about competing in the Olympics since watching the Games as a child, but that she never expected to get the chance as a golfer.

'I think the ultimate would be to win a gold medal and stand on that podium and hear the national anthem,' Pettersen said. 'That would be quite unique for us, because that's something that never, ever happens in our daily lives.'

Golf, which was played at the 1900 Paris Olympics and 1904 St. Louis Games, is proposing a 72-hole stroke-play competition for men and women, with 60 players in each field.

The 28-year-old Pettersen said the status of the Olympics would be even higher with the younger generation of golfers.

'You will have kids starting to play golf these days who, if we do get in, will have the Olympics as their main goal,' she said. 'If I was to start playing golf now, if I was 5 years old today and I knew that I could potentially take part in the Olympics, that would be the drive.'