Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The delights of Biddleonian nose-wrestling

Every Olympics we get the cries of "that's not a sport!" about ... well, about almost every sport that the speaker is not a rabid follower of.

I have no patience for it.

The delight of the olympics is watching the very best exponents of whichever activity it happens to be duke it out in front of a potential audience probably thousands of times larger than at any time they have competed in their lives.

Some sports seem obscure, but in fact are not particularly - just to our parochial mindset. Not every country likes the same stuff. A sport nobody plays in your country may actually be one of the more popular competitive sports in some other countries.

Some other sports are indeed obscure. That's fine too - we just need to mix em around a bit, so other obscure sports can have their time in the sun. I love them all. Actually, I want more obscure sports. Tennis - meh, I can watch the same people play any old time. Give me Royal Tennis!

And I reckon every olympics should have 5 or 6 completely made up sports, and the best one gets to come back next olympics, along with another 5 or 6 newly-minted modes of competition. If a made up sport wins twice in a row, it should be a regular fixture.

The new sports would be part of the Olympics bid process, so people who like the sound of a new sport can have a nice long training period to get good. Remember Eddie the Eagle from the winter olymics way back? If there were more sports, there'd be more half-mad semi-fit ordinary people having a burl. More power to 'em.

There's a very fertile ground in mixing pre-existing sports. I want to see fencing mixed with trampolining. Now there's a sport.

What about clay pigeon shooting from a hang-glider? That takes skill. None of this "perfect score" shit - you manage to wing a couple, you're probably in line for a medal.

[Edit: I see Greta Christina made some similar points (though she's taking a somewhat different tack). I've had this post in mind since reading a poll a few days ago asking "Which sports don't belong at the olympics?"; any similarity to Greta's post is coincidental]

1 comment:

Dana Hunter said...

Quidditch! That's what I want to see an an Olympic sport.