Saturday, August 4, 2012

My Biennial Olympic Rant

Every two years we get to observe the Olympic games; now we're in the middle of the Summer Olympics.  For the most part, they are quite enjoyable.  The opening ceremonies, with the parade of athletes (ever wonder if any of those people from Montenegro will medal?), is usually memorable, if perhaps a bit esoteric.  And the British did a good job this year.

But I cannot help but think that some of these Olympics events should be removed from future games.  Let me review my criteria for something which should be part of the Summer games (similar criteria apply to the Winter games):

1.  Only sports which can be measured by strictly objective, quantitative criteria should be included.  Events which require judges to "score" the events should be removed. 

Quantitative criteria are things like time (e.g., track and swimming races), distance (shot put, javelin), mass (weightlifting), or some clearly defined scoring system (basketball, soccer).  Events like gymnastics and diving, which depend on the judgment of judges to determine this or that, are much too subjective and open to unethical judging.  Referees and other officials, of course, will always be required.

2.  Only sports which are, or have been, participated in by large numbers of people, should be included.  So, like it or not, soccer stays in.  So do archery and shooting.  For that matter, judo can stay, too.

Corollary: Sports which are only participated in by minimal numbers of people in the present day should be dropped.  Exception to corollary: Games that were part of the ancient Greek games (discus, javelin, etc.) are allowed to stay.

3.  Special considerations:  Boxing goes.  It is barbaric.  Beach volleyball also goes.  The only reason it's even an Olympic sport is because the women know. beyond ridiculous as an Olympic event.  Any "sport" that looks like it belongs in the X Games not only violates #2 above, but should simply be moved to the X Games.

Therefore, I would recommend also eliminating these sports from Olympic competition (and will consider others):

Diving (violates #1)
Equestrian (#2; I'm not even sure what this involves beyond horses and some obstacles)
Field hockey (#2)
Gymnastics, Rhythmic gymnastics (#1)
Sailing (#2)
Synchonized...anything (#2)
Trampoline (#2; what actually do they do in trampoline?)

Those are my thoughts.  Yours?

1 comment:

Brenda said...

If gymnastics were removed, there would be such an uproar!! It has been a favorite for decades!! Gets tons of media time!! Makes lots of money. And the women's gymnastics is all about.....girls. That, my friend, will not ever be dropped.

My husband is particularly disgruntled that China still leads the USA is the medal counts. It irks him that they are medaling in such obscure sports like the TRAMPOLINE?? Never ever seen a second of media time given to that. I agree that should be dropped as an Olympic sport! (Come on, TRAMPOLINE?) The same for Badminton. That's a backyard BBQ game. What's it doing in the Olympics?