Many of my friends are currently involved in committed viewership of the Summer Olympics in Brazil. For those of you, who shun the media because you believe it is a dark conspiracy against the telegraph, let me fill you in. As I write this, the Olympics are broadcasting sporting events you didn’t know were sporting events for twelve to eighteen hours a day. Nations unite in the spirit of sportsmanship and celebration to remind people that finishing fourth isn’t as impressive as it sounds.
One does discover the variety of sports being promoted are so unique, you find yourself mesmerized, staring at your high definition TV, hoping the Russians don’t win a medal. I found myself in this state when I fell upon the synchronized diving event, thinking the Siamese had a real advantage in this sport. Boy was I wrong.
Now there is a problem here, as the events seem to go on far too long, like the presentations the VP of finance makes every quarter. Every year new sports are added to the Olympiad and my fear is these games may soon take four months just to present.
Currently we are in the middle of the 17 day marathon of broadcasting the summer games, as I carefully use the word marathon as a metaphor here not an event. That is the type of confusion that leads many spectators to the Olympic pool hoping to dip their toes in the water to cool down, and discovering public use of the pool is strongly discouraged.
So many events, so many athletes, so little time!
As the IOC faces new challenges of managing the time of extended competition, I offer the simplest of solutions. Rather than add new sports while eliminating older ones, let’s enter the world of compromise. As the answer stares you in the face, allow me to state the obvious, which I respectfully call…. The Combo Solution.
Less events, more sports and way more fun is so appealing, I am surprised the governing bodies didn’t come up with this one themselves. I suppose they are so busy giving the world the appearance of non -corruption, fairness and purity of sport, they couldn’t see the answer that pretty well solves itself.
Restaurants have been using this creative combo approach for years. Who doesn’t rush to their local MacDonald’s when they hear there is a Star Wars character included with a Happy Meal? In no particular order of importance here are the Summer Olympic combination recommendations moving forward.
The Combo Solution:
Table Tennis: I suggest combining tennis and table tennis into one massive event. You will just need a much bigger table.
Diving: I would combine diving and football (soccer) for obvious reasons.
Decathlon: Decathlon, Heptathlon, Pentathlon, triathlon and any sport ending in “lon” will be replaced by the much more leisurely activity the seniors call Lon (lawn) bowling.
High Jump: This is a pretty obvious one. Combining trampoline with high jump will allow athletes to achieve slightly better results. The popularity of the business phrase “Raising the Bar” will be said much more often in staff meetings, if that is even possible.
Wrestling: As a pure efficiency measure, let’s combine boxing, wrestling, Judo, Taekwondo into a sport simply called “Brawling”. (A bar room setting would be perfect, if the IOC lighten up on the alcohol rule.)
Gymnastics: Not a lot to change here as the popularity of these events are near the top of viewership ratings. I would however decrease the width of the balance beam from four inches to two inches. More falling and crashing might finally entice the Nascar people to watch the Olympics.
Equestrian: Equestrian Jumping, Equestrian Dressage and Equestrian Eventing will all still remain, with one slight change. Under no circumstance will horses be allowed to help the athlete in their pursuit of a medal.
Swimming: All events that use water, like swimming, canoeing, sailing, rowing and water polo will be merged into one fantastic event tentatively titled “Splashing”.
Track and Field: No significant changes here except we will reverse the term to the more alphabetically correct “Field and Track” for no other reason than just to annoy the announcers, the athletes and the traditionalists.
Cycling: In the spirit of the more environmentally friendly world we now inhabit, each sport involving any form of bicycle will be renamed with the word “recycling”. Unicycles and clowns will continue to be banned from participating in the Olympics.
100 Meter Sprint: With races at 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 1500 meters, 3000 meters and relays, racing is getting too damn complicated. All races will now be based on race to address any blatant, inherent racial bias here. This should deter senseless racial slurs during the races. Certain Asians groups will be given the option to drive.
Weightlifting: To capture a greater carnival atmosphere for these stuffy games, weight lifting will be replaced with weight guessing. Be very careful with the female athletes during this one.
Triple Jump: In my day this was more accurately called the Hop, Skip and Jump. To add a little more artistry to this dull leaping exercise, we will now call this the Quintuple Jump. Hop, Skip, Jump, Dance and Twirl will be the required moves in any order the athlete chooses.
Handball: Handball, Volleyball, Basketball and all the “ball” sports will be equalized by making each game use the same type of ball. Current recommendation is leaning towards the shot put as the universal orb for all of these events. Strengthening the backboards and reenforcing net tightness will be a must, for this idea to prosper.
Archery: Archery, Fencing, Javelin and all sports that involve a very pointy ended stick, will be slowly phased out of the games, and replaced with everybody’s favourite family sport: Lawn Darts.
Discus Throwing: In an attempt to ignore Apple Music’s stranglehold on current musical choices, the discus will be replaced with CDs, DVDs, or records as the projectile of choice. Extra points will be awarded for artistic impression for any athlete who chooses their great grandparent’s 78 records as their throwing disc.
I could go on and on, just like the Olympic games, but that would relegate this idea to ironic. I thank the IOC in advance for accepting this logical solution to their problem. I am sure they will produce their own ideas for enhancing the entertainment value of their events, or steal mine and take all the credit.
Note: This is by no means a complete list however, the idea of combining the Hammer Throw as part of the pre-construction phase of building the host facilities, seems a little too obvious to mention.
Cue the Blong: Whatever Happened To is wrought with sentimentality as i pine for the good old days when Olympics were only available in black and white.
Absolutely great, I love these combo sports.
You now get to form something I think the IOC is in desperate need of, another Olympic Committee.
Perhaps you can help them form combo committees that combine countries India/Pakistan, Russia/Afghanistan and all the Stans that left Russia, and Israel/anyone but the US, to put this together with you.
You Fords missed your calling as one of those Siamese synchro swimmer teams.
Hey Ross, first I am thrilled you actually read my little rant. Second I think your suggestion of combining countries will be first on my agenda when I address the IOC with yet another sub committee.