The Olympics are over with for 2012. It’s hard to believe that the competition has come and gone already. With London in the rearview mirror (figuratively), it’s left many to reflect on what happened. In this day and age where everybody has an audience, many have taken the opportunity to vent about the shortcomings of the Games (#NBCfail). Not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, check out Olympic Ponderings, if you haven’t already. Although I am tempted to do so here, I wanted to instead discuss some changes that I’d like to see in future Olympic games.
I want to see more running. That’s it. There’s room for more events and better coverage of them. Sure I’m biased, but running is the purist form of sport, and I think we can fit more into the Games. As our poll question this months asks, why not have the half marathon as an Olympic event? Think of how exciting that would be.
The more events you have, the more runners that get involved and the more the sport grows. It’s a low-end investment on the part of the Olympic organizers as they’ll just need a little more housing and can just use the same course as the marathon. All those major roads are closed for what, six hours during a major marathon? As it stands now, they’re probably only closed for a fraction of that for the elites that run in the Olympic marathon. In other words, they can handle it.
While we’re on the subject, why not have marathon relay teams? Relays on the track (and even in the pool) are quite exciting, and I don’t see how that excitement wouldn’t translate over onto the roads. I’d love to see two and/or four person relay teams. Adding a team element to a sport always makes it more entertaining.
It’d open up the Olympic opportunity to so many more talented runners. How could having more runners involved and more events broadcasted globally be anything but great for the sport?
An argument I can see being made in opposition to this is that adding more would somehow dilute the Games. I wonder though, haven’t we already reached the point of dilution? And if we have, why not add some more running in then anyway?
Trampoline, rhythmic gymnastics and dressage are all Olympic sports. I threw up in my mouth a little just typing that. Rhythmic gymnastics? Trampoline? Dressage? Are you kidding me? If you’re going to have horses involved at all, why can’t you just have horse racing with jockeys? Now that’d be fun to watch on TV! Dressage is, well, just awful. If you’re pro-dressage, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I’m baffled why that’s an Olympic sport (or even a sport at all, for that matter).
Considering rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline, I also don’t think those really belong in the Olympics. I’m not as disgusted by those as I am by dressage, but it still seems ridiculous to me. I guess my point is, all this stuff is more performance art than it is sport. Difficult? Sure. I bet those people work their butts off, but it still seems ludicrous that it’s an Olympic sport. Hey, we’re going to dance around while twirling ribbons and tossing balls in the air, and then we’ll expect an Olympic medal at the end. Wait…what? It’s one thing that it’s an Olympic sport, but what’s way beyond me is the fact that this stuff even gets airtime.
Trampoline and rhythmic gymnastics, two events using acrobatics and choreographed dance to entertain…hmm. If you think about it, it really sounds like something that belongs in a circus. Bear with me now…why don’t we just make ‘circus’ an Olympic sport? We could put together a ‘dream team’ featuring performers from the Big Apple Circus and Ringling Bros, but I don’t think they’ll be able to compete with those Cirque du Soleil freaks. I say freaks in a complimentary way here, as I am amazed by the stunts they pull. The Canadians would have gold locked down in that one for the foreseeable future (as far as I know, at least). Shockingly, I’m not really a circus kind of guy so I could be leaving some other clowns out (pun TOTALLY intended).
Is that far fetched? Oh yeah, that’s how I roll. To take it a step further, let’s bring that load of crap that is dressage back into the conversation. If we’re going to have that as an Olympic sport (I’d classify it more as ‘animal entertainment’, akin to trained bears, etc), then I think lion taming would be more legit than this dressage shit. I get a headache just saying dressage. The name of the “sport” itself has an uppity vibe to it.
Ultimately, if we have all this other “stuff” crammed into the two weeks, then surely there must be some room for another event or two for the runners! Let’s make a push for it, because after the opening ceremonies appearance of Harry Potter, I’m afraid the next addition is going to be quidditch. Better get the running events in before things really start to get out of control.