Rugby Family Celebrates Inclusion of Rugby in the Olympics

Wendy YoungCorrespondent IOctober 9, 2009

RICHMOND, BC - MARCH 10:  A set of Olympic Rings are erected outside the Vancouver Interantional Airport welcoming visitors March 10, 2009 in Richmond, Canada. The 2009 ISU World Single Distance Speed Skating Championships will be held at the Richmond Olympic Oval March 12-15, 2009. The Richmond Olympic Oval will be the site of the Long Track Speed Skating during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The global Rugby family are celebrating the announcement that Rugby Sevens will be included at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

An overwhelming vote in favour of inclusion by the International Olympic Committee members at the 121st Session in Copenhagen means that the world's top men's and women's Rugby players will have the opportunity to compete for an Olympic Gold medal, the pinnacle of sporting achievement.

Bernard Lapasset, President of the International Rugby Board, said: "This is a historic moment for our sport and for the global Rugby community, who wereunited in support of our campaign."

"We are excited and honoured to be joining the Olympic Games and I would like to thank the IOC members for believing in our Olympic vision and our values and recognising that Rugby Sevens is a perfect fit for the Olympic Games."

"The Olympic Games will be the pinnacle of the sport for all our athletes and the Rugby family. The best men's and women's players in the world are excited to be able to showcase their talent on the world's greatest sporting stage."

"We are now looking forward to working in partnership with the IOC to develop and implement a Rugby Sevens tournament in Rio that will reach out to new audiences and inspire a new generation of sports fans around the world," added Lapasset.