Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Here is a list of “sports” that should be removed from the Summer Olympics and/or re-categorized into “athletic arts” or “really difficult disciplines.”:
Synchronized Swimming
Gymnastics (Artistic, Rhythmic, and Trampoline)
It’s not that these activities are not challenging. They are some of the hardest athletic activities out there. It is not that they are boring. It is incredible to watch people doing some of these things.
The problem is that these competitive activities depend on judges to determine who the better competitor was.
If the essence of the Olympics (or any sport) is for athletes to come together and perform a discipline to see who the best athlete is that day, and awards are going to be given, then there needs to be objective means by which to determine the victor.
Most sports have a set of rules and an objective that is achieved by one individual or team better than the opponent; more goals, baskets, touchdowns, points, or a finish line that is crossed first. When these sports have two people achieve the same result, they have a predetermined way to break the tie, or they award the same prize to the athletes that achieve the same result.
The problem with the above listed “events” is that there is no objective measurement of achievement. Instead a group of “experts” observe the various participants and then subjectively award points for achievement, artistic merit, and lack of mistakes. The way to fix this problem would be to assign the exact same dive or routine to all participants and compare apples to apples on the given day.
Until that happens, get rid of these subjective contests and put Tug of War and Croquet back in.


  1. Have you been eavesdropping on the conversations that go on in my house every olympics?

    You can add some others to your list:
    Horse stuff (sure, there is great skill, but it's the animal that does the carrying, jumping, etc.... a skill in "training a horse")

    Air pistol and rifle shooting and all this stuff needs to be amended so that people are not allowed to use all kinds of contraptions to hold their body and head still while they shoot. It's a contest about who can contrive the best setup to shoot straight. Remove all the helps and let them compare ability to hold -- using own muscles -- their bodies straight and still.

    I'm sure there are more, those are my current peaves ;-)

  2. Amen to that brother...if it has an artistic score it should go!


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