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The Olympic Games--Not Necessarily Sports

August 14, 2008 | By: Gina | Comments ( 0 ) | Posted in: Offbeat

When I was a kid I used to love watching the Olympics. I can still remember watching Kerri Strug break her ankle landing the vault and clenching the gold for America in the snap heard 'round the world. But now, it seems that there are some events included in the Olympic Games that most people would not consider a sport.


Take fencing for example. At the writing of this, the USA has won 1 Gold, 1 Silver, and 2 Bronze medals in this sport. Sword fighting is all great when it is done by Jonny Depp, but in the Olympics? Why not do something a bit more modern and have a gunfight? Something in the mode of a good Sergio Leone movie? They do have shooting as an Olympic sport--India took home the gold in the 10-meter air rifle.


And why is it that every time I turn on the TV there is synchronized diving? Not to down play the amount of skill and athleticism that diving involves, I certainly couldn't do it, but what's next: synchronized canoeing? The announcer even said that the divers are scored more for their synchronization then on how well they execute their dive (so if the divers were to belly flop in unison, could they still get 8s?).


And how about baseball and softball? The International Olympic Committee announced in July that they have kicked out these sports in the 2012 London Summer games because they are too American for an international sports stage. Yet these same people have kept ping-pong (oh, I'm sorry, "table tennis")and badminton--games which most people only play in their back yards or are forced to learn in gym class. Hopefully baseball and softball will make a comeback in 2016, when they are allowed to reapply.


How do some of these sports get chosen for the Olympics? I'm going to campaign for bocce ball next time around, but it will be hard to beat out horseshoes.

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