You Got A Gold Medal In WHAT?: Olympic Sports

There are some Olympic events I just don’t get.  I don’t see why they’re in the Olympics, and some I don’t see how it’s even a competition.  Here are a few…

  • Rhythmic gymnastics.  It’s gymnastics, but with props.  Considering gymnastics is one of the events I respect the most out of the Olympics my hatred for this event is almost impressive.  If you need a prop to distract the audience from what you’re doing, you’re not doing it well enough.  And if you need a prop to show how impressive what you’re doing is, again you’re not doing it well enough.
  • Trampoline.  This is not a sport.  This is a backyard activity.  If we are going to start having backyard activities as Olympic events, I want Olympic hide-and-seek.  Or paintball.  Oooh, or “don’t let the balloon touch the ground”.
  • Race walk.  Really?  REALLY?  This is an event?  Who can walk the fastest without running?  This sounds like the sport that shows up when someone starts whining that the Olympics are too hard.
  • Triple jump.  This is the long jump equivalent of the race walk.  Doing one epic jump too hard?  Do 3 small ones!
  • Basketball/Soccer/Tennis.  I’m not arguing these are sports.  But I don’t think professional athletes have a place in the Olympics.  Period.  You might argue that someone like Michael Phelps is a professional, and to a certain degree I agree with you, but Phelps isn’t playing a game every week and the only reason I see him on TV on a regular basis is because of those darned Subway commercials.
  • Anything equestrian.  I wouldn’t ask that a dog show become an Olympic event, so I fail to see why horses should be any different.  Yes there’s skill here, but its more about the training and skill of the horse.  Don’t get me wrong, they are beautiful and I love watching them move, I just don’t see why it is an Olympic sport.  You’re testing the animal more than the person.

Thinking about this made me wonder though…there had to be other events that were once present in the Olympics that someone eventually thought better of.  So, I did some poking around, and man were there some doozies.  Here are a few of  my favorites:

  • Art.  Yes, art.  From 1912 to 1952 there were 5 art categories that were awarded medals (literature, music, painting, sculpture, and architecture).  All entries had to be related to sport somehow, and as the events gained popularity they started to be divided up into subcategories, creating more events and medals.  They were eventually cut out of medal contention because it was deemed to be a professional competition (violating the IOC’s amateurism policy), but were instead created as an exhibition “event”, which is still ongoing today (granted with much less participation).  Who wouldn’t love to say they had a gold medal in Olympic architecture?
  • 2 handed discus, javelin, and shotput.  This wasn’t a 2 hands at the same time thing, but you had to do each throw with each hand.  You had 3 tried with each hand (for a total of 6 throws), and your score was the best throw from each hand.
  • Underwater swimming.  Cut because it wasn’t exciting (you couldn’t see anything…maybe it could make a comeback now with the underwater camera technology we have?), it wasn’t just a straight race.  Completed over 60 meters, swimmers were awarded 2 points for each meter swum underwater and 1 point for each second they stayed underwater (yes that’s continuous; you couldn’t swim for a while, stop, come up for air, and resume swimming; you could stay underwater at the end though if you wanted t0).
  • Dueling pistols.  No it’s not as bad as it sounds, but I had to include it because I went “whaaaaaaa?” when I saw it.  They didn’t actually shoot at other people, but they did have to whirl around and shoot at a dummy dressed as another person.
  • Live pigeon shooting.  That’s right, they shot live birds.  Don’t worry, they only did it at one Olympics before they realized it was an absolutely terrible idea.  A flock of them was released right in front of the participant, and they objective was of course to kill as many as possible.  They were cutoff after missing 2.
  • Tug of war.  Why did they get rid of this?!

Is there anything you don’t agree with as an Olympic event?  A sport you would like to see added?  Maybe we can start a new tug of war team…

*My apologies for the double post.  The first version that went up was unfinished, and was not suppose to actually post this morning.

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Posted on August 8, 2012, in Life, Misc. Topics (Life), Olympics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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