The Olympics could be about to roll out the changes. Skateboarding apparently has a reasonable chance of becoming a competitor sport at the 2012 Games. Getting boarding on to a tight schedule will be something of a stretch, admittedly. It might need to be adopted by the cycling federation as another "wheel-based sport". But the International Olympic Committee, eager to attract a young audience to the Games, is keen.
Great news, we say. True, skateboarding is a comparatively new sport. But if snowboarding has been incorporated into the Winter Olympics it is difficult to see why its freewheeling cousin should not be part of the summer Games. It will not please the sporting conservatives, but Olympic customs cannot be fixed in stone. If they were, the spectacle would consist of little more than the ancient Greek disciplines of discus throwing, sprinting and greased wrestling. And participants would have to compete naked too.