I’ve been watching the Olympics lately, and almost daily I find myself saying things like, “How long has THAT been an Olympic sport?” and “You can win a gold medal for doing THAT?!?”As we all know, General Motors is in big trouble, and many experts believe the company simply has too many car brands to manage. Some of them, they say, have to go. Well, I’m thinking the Olympics are heading in that same direction. So in the spirit of international athletic competition, I’m going to suggest a few candidates for “trimming.” (And believe me, you wouldn’t even notice they were gone.)
Number Five… Field hockey. Did you know field hockey is an Olympic sport? I played field hockey in gym class once – it was fun. But I can’t decide if it’s polo for folks who can’t afford horses, or hockey for folks who can’t afford ice. Either way, I’m pretty sure the Olympics can afford both horses AND ice, so field hockey is superfluous. Throw it out.
Number four… Handball. “Up next – handball!” the announcer says. I immediately think of my grandfather playing handball at the Omaha YMCA – whacking a little rubber ball around a small, sweaty room with another elderly gentleman. But this wasn’t that handball at all. This handball involved two teams of women running around an indoor miniature soccer field, trying to throw a miniature soccer ball down the field and into a miniature soccer goal. “Look! It’s miniature soccer!” I said. Olympic handball is either soccer for people who just can’t resist touching the ball with their hands, or basketball for people who just can’t dribble. Throw it out.
Number three… Synchronized swimming. I’m not even going to comment about this one. Too easy.
Number two… Water Polo. “Hey guys – let’s play soccer! But this time, let’s play using our hands, in a pool, wearing Speedos and baby bonnets!” Look, I realize the guys that play water polo are incredible athletes, but did you see the game between the American men and the Serbian men? The Serbians all sported identical 1972 Mark Spitz mustaches, as if their cable is on tape-delay and they just got Starsky and Hutch. It looked like the Americans were facing a whole herd of Magnum P.I.s. In baby bonnets. Sorry, water polo fans… it’s gotta go.
And the number one Olympic sport that needs to go…
Trampoline. I know what you’re saying – “Wait a minute… trampolining isn’t an Olympic sport!” But yes, it is. I’m watching the Olympics Saturday afternoon and the announcer says, “Up next – Trampolining!” Sure enough, we come back from break and there are a whole bunch of official-looking judges standing around a big ol’ trampoline. Olympic trampolining involves athletes jumping straight up and down real high, trying to stay exactly in the center of a black square painted on the trampoline, and then executing a series of elaborate flips and twists in rapid succession, finishing as close as possible to the center of the square. Apparently there is an “International Trampoline Organization,” figuring out the rules for Olympic trampolining.As you might expect, the Chinese trampolinists kicked our butts, as they did in almost every sport that involves balancing, flipping and twisting through the air. After pondering this situation, it finally occurred to me why the Chinese are so good at these sports. Have you ever seen Chinese acrobats at the circus or at Cirque du Soleil? You know, the ones that do freaky things like balancing on a tower of chairs or stacking 28 people on a small bicycle? Well guess where Chinese acrobats come from? That’s right! China! Acrobatics and China just seem to go hand in hand. So why are we surprised when they kick our butts at all these acrobatic sports?
The sad thing about Olympic trampolining is this: Who has the most trampolines per capita? Hmm? How many trampolines are there in Beijing? No one in Beijing even has a backyard! How could they have a trampoline? Here in suburban America there are about five trampolines per block. We’re swimming in trampolines! And yet they pull out a trampoline at the Olympics and the Chinese kick our butts.
Why? Have you ever watched “America’s Funniest Home Videos?” Every third video seems to involve a big, dumb American falling off a trampoline. Usually into an above-ground pool. Which then collapses, flooding the yard. We’re incompetent. We can’t do anything that requires grace or coordination.
Which is why we need to throw trampolining out of the Olympics. Because it’s humiliating that the country with 1.5 trampolines per person gets its collective butt kicked by a country whose citizens, for the most part, have never seen a trampoline.
I vote, in fact, that we give up on any sport that involves balancing, flipping or twisting through the air, and replace these events with sports to which we Americans are better suited. My suggestions: Tractor pulls, NASCAR, and pie eating contests. Or to put it another way, if it works at a county fair, let’s put it in the Olympics. Please. Our national pride is on the line here. Out with diving – in with pig racing.
This is just a humble suggestion from a concerned American.
What do you think? Which Olympic sports would you like to vote off the island?
Table Tennis, I am surprised that is a Olympic Sport! Even though I don’t watch the Olympics, I still think it is too easy! And Synchronized swimming looks very hard to me.
Any event that requires judges vs. head-to-head competition is not a sport, so drop ’em.
Table Tennis? I had to look that up…its actually in the Olympics! I would have to say Taekwondo. (I’m pretty sure China and Japan have an advantage there.)
Go Canada! 🙂
That’s just summer! Do we need to wait two years to have the winter Olympics discussion? Curling!? I mean, come on.
What gets me is not silly sports, but rather what NBC chooses to show. I (can’t believe I) watched the whole thing Saturday night, but every 10 minutes during the Women’s Marathon I kept saying, “Surely, they’re about to cut away to something else.” They didn’t cut away, AND I watched all 2 hours and 20 minutes of it. Wait…that says more about me than NBC doesn’t it?
I think we need to keep all the obscure sports, and maybe even add more! Here’s why: it seems that over 50% of prime time olympic sports involve gymnastics. We need enough other sports to at least whittle down gymnastics coverage to about 15% of the olympic coverage. Somehow gymnastics are taking over the summer games and their premise is not much better than trampolining!
Table Tennis? Please. It’s Ping Pong for goodness sake. It shouldn’t be an Olympic sport. It’s what you do at your friend’s house in their garage on a Friday night when there are no new movies out to go see! ….and you have to be 17.
Synchronizd swimming / diving…you’re right, too easy!
Ooooh….pie eating contests? That’s a good idea. The American Heart Association in conjunction with Betty Crocker could co-sponsor the event!
I have to go now, my son is in the backyard practicing for the 2016 Trampoline Team!
As one who has been at the Olympics and been in the midst of all the craziness that is BJ right now, your post made me laugh harder than anything I’ve read in the past few weeks. I especially love your bit on trampolining. Priceless, and so true. Another one I didn’t know was a sport until I showed up to watch it: 20km race walking. Yes, race walking. Now, it is impressive, but…. why don’t you just run already?
HA!! HA!! HA!! HA!! HA!! HA!! …. um … what was the question?
Actually, what I would like to see changed is what sports are played in the “Summer” Olympics. Some are perfectly suited: Beach Volleyball, Baseball, Track, Soccer, Swimming, etc… But others seem better suited in the Winter Olympics: Gymnastics, Basketball, Regular Volleyball, etc… It would add more to a somewhat one-dimensional Winter Olympics, and make more sense in regards to time of year these are actually played (at least here in the U.S.)
Hmmmm… I think there are lots that I don’t understand like Skeet shooting or Archery. Seems more like a talent than an athletic event. I think that the olympics is more of a celebration of athletics than talents. I think maybe fencing is one that I would toss. It just seems more of a ancient art form than an athletic event.
Very funny light hearted subject Mr. Vischer!
So, I just had to write. I filpped on the olympics while I had a quick bite to eat. I am, no joking, watching something that can only be described as synchronized jumproping. They are doing twists and flips and throwing them around and then jumping rope a while. I thought, o.k. THAT has got to go!
Hmmm well table tennis is a little odd for an olympic sport unless Forest Gump was on the team then I would say keep it!
The Olympics is a racist competition which requires contestants to be of a particular race (humans). As long as they don’t allow puppets in, I’m boycotting them. I think Buck Denver should do something about this issue.
I think trampolining is awesome. You know the vaults that the regular gymnasts do? Trampolining is like doing eight vaults in a row–since you have to do all those flips and twists on every single jump. Trampolining shouldn’t be eliminated, it should be upgraded to the regular gymnastics competition! It must be way harder than most of what the regular gymnasts do!
The event that should go is badminton. Not only is it seriously lame, but it’s also hard to spell (as I just found out).
Oh come on people! You’re dissing us Canadians here…
Our two silver medals in Trampoline were our first two medals in these games (after a long drought).
Plus, curling is an institution up here! We can’t get rid of that. We’ve already completely justified it as a country: a sport where you sit in a big rink, drink coffee and eat donuts while sliding stones down the ice CAN be an Olympic sport!
So don’t go too far… you’re hurting our national pride.
(Click on my name to see our current Olympic medal count – we also have two medals in Equestrian Jumping. Oh boy.)
Come on. Didja watch the Olympic Table Tennis? These guys are really playing on a completely different level.
Badminton on the other hand? That’s… just… well…. lame.
Basketball needs to stay in the summer Olympics, because during the winter games, much of the team has to be at their “Day job” and couldn’t participate.
They should move baseball to the winder Olympics, so we could get the same advantage of the best American baseball players playing there.
About the mustaches from Serbia…
I’ve lived in Ukraine for a few years, and I have often found fashion to be quite a bit behind the U.S. Up until a couple years ago, they loved the old Beverly Hills 90210 show and “Moonlighting” with Bruce Willis. Just in the last year mullets have become the coolest fad for the teenagers.
So yes, it is like they have a delay in their cable. In fact, it’s almost quite literally the way it works.
These are all great points, but it still doesn’t address my issue…
WHY CAN US NORMAL PEOPLE EVER SEE ANYTHING COOL TELEVISED?
I may be in a minority, but I don’t subscribe to any cable or satellite thing, and all I ever see is running, running, running, running, swimming, running, gymnastics and then…
Show me swords! Show me rifles! Show me Badminton for Pete’s sake!
I’m tired of seeing people run!!!
um…yeah the trampoline has got to go!
and im gonna root for the jamaican team YEAH MON! (ever see cool runnings?) oh wait that was the winter games…heh heh. yeah we americans are sch loosers. the chinese have every right to kick our butts!
You left out the olympic SPEED WALKING… seriously
Hey, what about voting onto the island? I want to see a “Creative Olympics” where music playing, composing, storywriting, filmmaking, scrapbooking, calligraphy, and drawing are displayed for the universe to see.
And the opening ceremony could be a bunch of guys swimming laps of a poola nd getting little yellow shiny things
Funny thing is that the only sport that they are dropping is Softball and nobody here has thrown that one in yet. It has a special place in our hearts but I have to agree that for the olympics i just feels like another baseball. That and we don’t seem to be good at it anymore so lets unload it quick!
Really a lot of this goes a lot deeper than you might think. A lot of countries have pet sports and would be outraged if they were stripped. Really I have to admit that a lot of them have a lot more going for them then our pet US sports. US football is slow and clunky compared to International football ( the one that you actually play with your feet ). I had never paid much attention to curling until this last winter olympics and then was fascinated with what a an intricate sport is was and so much funner to watch then something comparable and closer to home … say bowling. We treat ping pong as a goofy den game … one step below foos but a lot of Asian countries treat it as a cross between tennis and chess, that is a highly skilled game of strategy thats played at a lightening fast pace.
Really I like a lot of the small gymnast competitions as long as they aren’t too similar to eachother. Trampoline rocks! Wish I could catch that kind of air. They ought to do more while they are up there though to mix it up a little. Juggle or something.
So thats what it comes down to. As Phil suggests, here in the states we not only have pet sports but largely ignore the international ones. Sometimes this just is what it is but in some cases it is embarrassing. Practically the whole rest of the world shuts down on FIFA cup, except for the US. At last we have a team it tighter competition but they are largely ignored at home … possibly becuase we are to busy chasing pigs dipped in crisco.
what are you from the boonies? pie eating and tractor pulling? oh my lord…i am actually very good at gymnastics pal. and we didn’t do that bad in that event. heh, if you really want a a sport for Americans lets try video games and big mac eating contests, ha! but no offense, the suggestions that you made might not bring up our pride, but make our reputation worse.
i am an ignorant american and proud of it man! no wait…
BTW … what about that race walking. I always think the athletes look like they are suffering a serious conflict of interests. But it is so funny to watch it shouldn’t be taken out. At least until three legged racing is added to tjhe London Olypiad.
I think any set of events where someone can win 8 golds using a single skill should be scrutinized for reduction. There is too much swimming and gymnastics. Basketball on the other hand, there is one medal. If they did the same thing with basketball as they do with swimming we would also have Olympic HORSE, dribbling, 1-on-1, Around the World. It is silly. I say, 1 medal per skill or something close to that.
Also consider ditching any sport in which the athletes seem tom impoverished to be able to afford clothes that properly cover their bottoms – Women’s Gymnastics, Women’s Beach Volleyball, Men’s Diving.
Actually, NASCAR or some kind of auto racing would seem to fit. The drivers are very athletic. There are already international races. ‘Course there would be some countries where their cars are back in the 1950s, but that’s ok. 🙂
Just because Australians don’t have ice and therefore the Hockeyroos flog Americans doesn’t mean the sport should be any less Olympicised. After all, ice hockey is in the winter Olympics, so shouldn’t no-ice hockey be in the summer?
For that matter, we should make ALL the winter Olympic sports have a summer alternative! So instead of bobsledding, we can slide cardboard boxes down a hill!
Synchronized swimming is amazing! Lol, that was a very entertaining blog however. I think the Trampoline is sorta cool too. I’d never try it though. Scared of heights.
I agree about the table tennis. Even though those people are really talented… would you call that a sport?
After watching the mens Synchronized Diving, I yelled out loud “Who the heck INVENTED Speedo’s anyway!?!?” I’m glad the men in swimming wear those leggings *cough* now. I’m curious to know how much Phelps spent on those NASA-designed things though.
I miss Paul Hamm!
oh yeah, I think Curling is another one of those ridiculous “sports” in the Winter Olympics. For Pete’s sake.
Hoo Boy. Sports. Not my thing, but I have one sport that would be fun as an Olympic sport. Extreme Mini Golf. The traps are real traps and you’re timed as well.
I’ve felt they need to up the ante on a lot of sports. NASCAR? They should have posts or ramps that pop up randomly so people have to swerve or do some amazing jumps. At least have one car going the opposite direction or one car that’s missing lugnuts or something.
Football? Have a meat scented ball and let a pack of wild dogs out to play with the rest of the team. We’ll see who really wants the ball then. I mean, c’mon. They’re wearing pads, how much more could it hurt?
Or maybe get the crowd involved and combine it with laser tag. If you get the guy out, he’s out of the game. Play until there’s only a few guys left.
Baseball? Aluminum bats and tennis balls with a much larger field and non linear bases.
I don’t want to see anyone hurt, but for the cash they’re raking in I want to be REALLY entertained.
No, No, No, Nick! You got it all wrong! Instead of cardboard boxes, let’s do an Olympic sized “slip and slide”! Could you imagine??? Make it about three stories tall, or better still, soap down an entire mountain slope! Then they could be judged on how many obstacles they avoid on the way down, such as trees, boulders, bushes, mountain lions…
I like synchronized swimming as a sport, but I don’t think it’s worthy of the Olympics. But if they’re going to have that as an Olympic sport, then why don’t we have line dancing as an Olympic sport? Or better still, marching band as an Olympic sport?
They should play table tennis the way we used to play it in youth group when I was in high school. Our table was in a small room so that you only had about 2-4 feet around the table on all four sides. The ceiling was a standard 8 foot ceiling, and our rules were that you could bank it off of any wall or the ceiling, as long as it only bounced once on each side of the table. Talk about some wild moves! Now, THAT was intense table tennis!
Well, the Olympics are over now, so we can all go back to our tractors and pig races and backyard trampolines, while munching our Big Macs and downing our 42-ounce Big Gulps…
I love synchronized swimming! But, yeah, water polo, table tennis, and handball don’t seem Olympics-worthy to me. And race walking? The concept makes me laugh! Like, how can that be a sport separate from running? And how does one get to the Olympic level in it? lol
But we did so well in water polo?! Granted the caps needed some help.
Synchronized swimming looks almost impossible to me,but,then again,I enjoy Watching it.Why don`t they have water balloon fights?I mean,I live in AZ,and it can get VERY hot here,so i`ll enjoy it.
Badminton is pretty bad too. I mean come on….it’s a backyard game…just as bad a ping pong.
i dunno. maybe field hockey is for people who are scared of horses (like me) or people who are scared of falling on ice (again, like me).
I’m from Ohio and we seem to favor “cornhole” in my neck of the woods 🙂 Sure, it’s a pet “sport” (backyard game like most of the others now joining the Olympics)…but who doesn’t enjoy a good bean bag toss???
Water Polo is extremely difficult and takes an insane amount of endurance. And Synchronized swimming is easy??
Trampoline ,BMX, and Synchronized swimming
and combine them into an event that Americans from ‘America’s Funniest Videos’ can excel at. It would be a TV ratings monster!
The “Back Yard Try-athlon.”
Contestants would ride BMX bikes off the roof of the closest house to the Olympic venue, bounce off a trampoline and into the flimsy side of a back yard pool.
Extra points could be earned for knocking over a wedding cake, or waking up a sleeping family pet in some hilarious manner during the attempt.
Sure it sounds stupid, but look at the judging methods for freestyle snowboarding or gymnastics and tell me that they make any more sense!
And, as long as curling is in the Winter games,
it is completly unjust for to be left out of the Summer Games.
Iâ€™m personally surprised that the â€œsynchronizationâ€ of sports has not caught on more. Think about it, you can synchronize just about any sport creating whole new realms of odd Olympic sports. Synchronized weight lifting, speed walking, hammer throw even the much anticipated yet unrecognized pie eatingâ€¦
I absolutely love the Olympics but I could do with out RYTHMIC GYMNASTICS…. basically the ribbon twirling and hula hooping with jumps and spins and flips… its funny to watch but you might as well have Speed Cups, Potato Sack races or the 3-legged race in the Olympics.