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Birmingham Olympics to be Site of Several Demonstration Sports
Birmingham () - The International Olympic Committee has announced the preliminary slate of demonstration sports for the 2020 Olympic Games. The IOC chooses demonstration sports based upon a number of factors including number of players worldwide, popularity of the sport, and cultural connections to the host site. The IOC has not officially sanctioned any demonstration sport programs since the 1992 Seoul games. However, due to the overwhelming popularity of certain cultural competitions in Birmingham, at least two sports will be recognized as official demonstrations.

The most highly anticipated event will be the first ever Summer Biathlon. In this sport highly skilled athletes run through the streets carrying "ice" or "snow" while shooting pistols at human sized targets. As in traditional Biathlon, shooting difficulty is compounded by the increased heart rate and nervousness brought on by running and drugs. The sport has seen increasing participation in Birmingham over the past few years and many of the medal favorites reside here.

Another demonstration sport, Alpine Slide, has both Birmingham and Olympic roots. One of the competitors in this event will be none other than Birmingham's own Vonetta Flowers, winner of the 2002 Olympic gold medal in two-woman Bobsleigh. Known for being the only black person to ever win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics, Flowers hopes to become the first person of any color to win at Olympic Alpine Slide. The course is to be built at Red Mountain Park and will utilize some of the old tipple foundations and portions of the abandoned mineral railroad. "I'm excited, but nervous," said Flowers. "This event is a little like bobsled, except with only one person and on concrete."

In all respects, the demonstration sports will be granted the same status as full Olympic sports except that they will not be included in medal counts. The medals themselves will share a similar design as full medals, but will be somewhat smaller.