The Degeneration of the Olympics (or why I hate synchronized swimming)

Disclaimer: You need to step back and take a deep breath, because I’m about to bash some things in the Olympics.  If you have a child, a relative, a friend, or if you like someone who’s a synchronized swimmer, table tennis player, or who plays rugby, etc. you may not want to read this.

The Degeneration of the Olympics

I just don’t understand the Olympics anymore.  It seems that years and years of competition, and, maybe, network television ratings, have caused such a degeneration of what I can only imagine was once a noble sporting event.  This is not your grandmother’s Olympic games.  The events which comprise the current Olympiad, and ones in the recent past, beckon the questions of ‘what’ and ‘who’ – as in ‘What in the world are they doing?’ and “Who in the world thought of including this?”

Before I continue, though, you can go here to see what was included in the first Olympic games.  You know, the ones that honored Zeus and Hercules and such.  Basically, spectators watched boxing, wrestling, Pankration (similar to what we know as MMA fighting), running, equestrian (chariot races as well as horse races), and the Pentathlon.   You can go here to see the events that were part of Olympics I, which were held in 1896.  Events like swimming, cycling, gymnastics, fencing, shooting, tennis and wresting were offered.

So…I offer my commentary on events (I’m not going to refer to them as ‘sporting’) that should be excluded.  Right now.  As in, discontinue immediately.

What were they thinking? (or, events that should be stopped right now)

1.     Synchronized Swimming.  I mean, really.  This is one part beauty pageant combined with three-parts dance team competition…all done in the water to give it that ‘wow’ factor.  Maybe these were girls that didn’t make the swim team in high school, or, maybe, they needed something to keep them from running around with the bad boys.  Whatever the case, this is not an Olympic sport and should be stopped…now.

2.     Synchronized Diving.  Again, maybe these were people that didn’t make the diving cut, so they created their own event to give themselves a gold medal chance.  But, if we’re going to call synchronized swimming – with 8 on a team –  an event, then let’s go all out with synchronized diving.  Don’t stop at 2 divers…let’s get maybe 10 or 12 diving at once, or maybe the 12 could do a routine where 2 or 3 dive in tandem with other groups.  By the time the last group hits the water, the first group has skimmied back up the ladder for another dive in the routine.

3.     Badminton.  I mean, really, when is the last time you’ve played this game?  And, when you did, how serious were you.  This, people, is an Olympic sport?

4.     Table Tennis.  Let’s call it what it really is…ping pong.  And, it’s played in the garage or in the bonus room.  It usually results in a fight because one brother annihilates the other, and dad has to get involved.  When ping pong gets boring, you can play doubles, or even ’round-the-table’.  It is, however, not an Olympic sport.

5.     Canoe/kayak.  Apparently, there’s a gold medal canoeist out there.  How would you like to be in a canoe on a lake with them?  You’d never do it right, always paddling on the wrong side, and, heaven forbid you tip the canoe over…wait, that’s me.   Nevermind.

6.     Fencing.  I can’t figure this one out.  It looks to me like a couple of guys in asylum wear swatting at gnats.  The only saving grace is when the light comes on and we know who stabbed who.  The solution would be William Wallace-type swords.  Then, we’d really know who won.  Until that change is made, please discontinue fencing.

7.     Handball.  The Olympics Committee can’t see the value of baseball to include as a sport, but they’re perfectly happy with handball.  Who do you know that plays handball?  Exactly.

8.     Rowing.  How practical is a scull?  (That’s the boat these people row.  See, you didn’t even know that.)  You can’t fish out of one, and it’s not practical for anything else.  You can’t turn around to see where you’re going, and you need a cox to yell at you to row.  I just don’t see the point!

Events to Include (if we’re going to add stupid stuff)

If the Olympic Committee is looking to add events, here are a few that might be considered that would be just as pointless as synchronized swimming, but infinitely more entertaining.

1.     Elbow Quarters.  You know, this is where you put stacks of quarters on the bottom of your elbow and try to catch them with your hand.  Obviously, the more you can catch, the better you are.  And, people with big hands would excel at this.  Big Russian women would have the edge in this event.

2.     Swing Jumping.  When we were kids, a swing set was a way to pass time in the summer.  This would naturally lead to how high you could swing, and the progression from there was to swing high, then jump out of the swing, flying across the back yard.  Now, as it was back then, an Olympian could get points for height and distance.  Plus points could be added for a broken arm.

3.     Bull Riding.  Let’s see the Chinese win that one.

4.     Rope Diving.  Well, it’s not really diving in the purest sense.  A Rope Diving Olympian would swing out over the water on a tree rope, and points would be given for form, maneuvers, and language.  The German spring board diver who did a back flop would have gotten big points in Rope Diving.

5.     Dodge Ball.  The problem here is, our public schools now view dodge ball in physical education as a no-no, so we’d have to create dodge ball academies to train our teams.  Dodge Ball would be the ultimate Olympic event.  No whiners, and no crybabies.

6.     Wasp Racing.  This would be the ultimate running event.  Give Olympians a three-foot stick and they would get, say, three tries to knock down a wasp nest.  Gold medalists would be those who get stung the least.  I can say from personal experience that you better get it the first time, ’cause there ain’t no going back in a second time with out getting some serious whelps.

7.     Aerial Archery.  That’s a fancy name for shooting an arrow straight up into the air to see how high it’ll go.  Of course, when we were kids, we never gave much thought to the fact that the arrow would would come back down…straight down.  So, in the Olympics, points would be given to how high the arrow goes, plus how close it sticks in the ground to the shooter…er…archer.

Upcoming Events to Look Forward to (seriously)

In the 2016 Summer Olympics, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, two events will be added.  Golf.  And, Rugby.  These two were added after consideration was given to roller sports, karate, baseball, softball, and squash.  Maybe they’ll consider adding croquet, plunge for distance, and cricket back to the list of events for the 2020 Olympiad.

Yes, croquet.


Filed under Commentary

10 responses to “The Degeneration of the Olympics (or why I hate synchronized swimming)

  1. Scott Lang

    AMEN, BROTHER!!! PREACH IT!!!! Sorry for the yelling. One more you can add to your list of things to stop, BMX racing. This event is for whimps who can’t ride in the motorcross circuit.

  2. Tommy Thompson

    I would like to see the Cannonball added to the list of approved dives from the platform. Points would be given by how many spectators got splashed. I think backpedaling races should also be in the Olympics. Anyone can run straight ahead but backwards is the real challenge. Imagine the spectacle which would be the 100 meter backpedaling hurdles. Great blog!

  3. bahahah! you got me rollin on this one.

  4. Jennifer Iverlett

    Hysterical! I needed a good laugh!

  5. Jennifer Iverlett

    I will say that I am glad that the games have somewhat evolved from the first games. Men playing nude??? The speedos are bad enough.

  6. Jan Hubbard

    Hummmm . . As a former synchronized swimmer, including the title of
    “Aquatic Artist of 19??”, I have only sadness and pity for those who cannot appreciate the tremendous skill and muscle and breath control involved in this so misunderstood sport/art.
    As to the original uniforms used in ancient Greece, where did they pin their countries/citystate names and numbers?

  7. Doug Demosi

    So…what is your opinion on rhythmic gymnastics? Keeper or goner?

  8. Pingback: 6-String Salvo August 17, 2012 « Mike Lee

  9. A D

    Another “sport” to add: pole dancing. Why not? It will never be as ridiculous as synchronized swimming.

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