Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympic Bonus Events!

If you're anything like me, you love the Olympics. I really wanted to compete in the Games when I was younger, even demolishing my body in the attempt. Unfortunately it turned out that I had barely any shred of natural talent for judo. So for all the moms at home: Yes, you can tell your kids that hard work will get you anywhere. But, uh... yeah. There's limits. (btw, a lot of people have been asking me just what the f happened in the men's -66kg final. The answer is: It was the right call, and I stuck an explanation at the bottom of the post if you want more details)

The thing with the Olympics is that the chances of medalling vary wildly depending on the sport you. Now, much has been written about "Boo... it's not fair that swimmers/runners/speed skaters/etc. get more chances at medals than, say, team handball" (btw, funny article about team handball here). Hey, I've been one of those people. But then I started thinking... it's not fair that those sports should have medals taken away from them. We should just add more to all of the other events! Think about it: All of venues are already built. Let's just use them more! (btw, I'm apparently going for gold on uses of colons, ellipses, and use of "btw" in this post). After all, judo hands out two bronzes, so who am I to argue about additional medals?

Let's use swimming as a template. Swimming can be summed up as "getting from Point A to Point B in water". But they're not content to just vary the distances like running and skating do. No, swimming says "No, no, no... it's also about how you get from Point A to Point B!". Brilliant! So without further ado, let's run through all of the Summer Olympic events and see where we can't spice things up a bit with a new medal-winning opportunity.

  • Archery
    • Right now archery is all about shooting at a bulls-eye (70m) as an individual or team and blah blah blah... since when has archery ever been about shooting a stationary target?
      • Option 1: Hunting
        • Model animals go roaring past on rails, or fake birds get lobbed into the air. Each one has a target on it. Bonus points if you hit a real-live seagull during the event.
      • Option 2: Team Downrange
        • In this one you have a blindfolded archer who is told where to fire by a teammate. That teammate is downrange holding a shield with a target painted on it. They can run around and try to catch the arrow. Steps should be taken to ensure the safety of the catcher so maybe they could have a bike helmet on or something.
  • Badminton
    • Right now you have Singles, Doubles, Mixed Doubles. Have you watched it? It's not fast enough, but there's an easy way to fix it:
      • Double Racket
        • Can you imagine this? Two dudes with a Racket in each hand just freaking givin' 'er? I'd watch that.
  • Basketball
    • H.O.R.S.E. Nothing spices things up like a trick-shot competition.
      • LEBRON JAMES: "Off the bald I.O.C. guy's head, into the basket"
      • BALD IOC GUY:   "What? Ungh..."
  • Beach/Indoor Volleyball
    • Same rules, but you can only use your feet. The Incas did this, but the losing team got beheaded. We don't need to go that far, but I wouldn't say no to some noogies for the loser, just to keep it authentic.
  • Boxing
    • Can't we all just agree that MMA is waaay more popular than boxing at this point? Let's just add an MMA event, call it Pankration to tie it in to ancient Greece, and watch the ratings pour in.
  • Canoe/Kayak
    • There's both sprint (like rowing) and whitewater obstacle-style races. Let's address them separately.
      • Option 1: Team Kayak (winter)
        • Kayaking came from the Inuit, and if you haven't noticed, the north pole is cold. Take this out, throw it into the winter Olympics, and have them navigate ice-floes.
          • Optional: Stick a fake whale in the water for them to chase down and harpoon.
      • Option 2: Authentic Canoeing
        • Have you seen the canoes they use at the Olympics? Honestly, it looks like a sanded 2x4 that the canoererer (how do you spell this???) somehow kneels on. That doesn't look anything like the canoes used in the real world. My proposal:
        • Each competitor's canoe has an extra seat in the front. 5-year old children are chosen at random from the audience and inserted into the seat for the duration of the race. At the half-way point the paddler has to serve the child lunch.
  • Cycling
    • There are so many different cycling races that I can barely keep track. Honestly, look at this list. Let's just break it down into a simpler list: Road, Track (velodrome), Mountain Bike, BMX. I'll give each one an additional medal, although it should be noted that there are already 18 biking medals. However, since they seem so pumped about using different kinds of bikes I'm going to insist we keep that theme for the new medals.
      • Road: Old-School
        • You know those bikes with the ENORMOUS front wheel? YEEAAAHHH!!! How great would that be? And why wasn't this included for London? They could have made everyone grow handlebar moustaches. Even the women.
      • Track: Laid-back
        • Recumbent bikes. I just think it would look hilarious.
      • Mountain Bike: Ball-buster
        • Unicycles. We're going to make this a co-ed race, the women would absolutely dominate.
      • BMX: Tandem
        • 2-Seater bikes going off jumps? Yes please.
  • Diving
    • They already have platform, springboard, synchronized, etc. But come on... they left out an obvious event:
      • Cannonball:
        • The USA would dominate, although Japan would give them a run for their money when they send all their Sumo fighters. Maybe we have weight classes for this?
  • Equestrian
    • How about they include a financial-class event, where the family's yearly income has to be less than $500k/year? Sorry, had to get that out.
    • My beef here is that you have people competing for something like 75 years because they can just get a new horse every time their old one gets sent to the glue factory. So we need to add an event that either negates the horse somewhat or takes into account the, oh I don't know, athleticism of the rider.
      • Option 1: Wild-West
        • The event starts with the rider having to sprint at the horse and then leap onto it from behind like in western movies. At some point they have to steer with only their legs and shoot a rifle at a target (hey, it's not so crazy. Look at biathlon)
      • Option 2: Menagerie Medley
        • "Ooooh, look at me. I'm a horse. I'm so special because people ride me." Well you know what horse? You're not the only animal people ride. I propose an event in which you have to ride in sequence: a) a donkey, b) a mule, c) a horse, d) an elephant. In the event of a tie you have to ride a Bengal tiger because seriously, no rich kid is going to get on top of a Bengal tiger. See if that doesn't level the playing field a bit.
  • Fencing
    • They already have foil, sabre, and epee. I would add claymore. I'll let you decide which of these photos is more awesome: Photo 1, Photo 2
  • Field hockey
    • Holy crap, I have no idea. Indoor Field Hockey? Let's just move on.
  • Gymnastics (Artistic, aka "hucking your body around events")
    • Add a separate event for people past the age of 17? JUST KIDDING*. They can probably get away with just adding a new apparatus. They already have parallel bars, horizontal bars, balance beam, pommel horse, vault, rings, and floor; lord only knows how they came up with that list. Seems a bit random, doesn't it? In keeping with that theme I'm going to pop over to excel and grab 4 letters at random to use in making my new apparatus...
    • Ok, I have to use the letters GJLX. Ouchie. Do any words exist with those letters? Time to consult a scrabble word finder (which I don't use when I play. You don't have to when you play Fraleigh... BA-ZING!).
    • Whoops, apparently there are no words of 12 letters or less using those letters. I'm gonna have to bust this out into two words...
    • And our new event is... Coxal Jumping! I can only assume this involves sitting on the floor and leaping as high as you can into the air. I'm predicting demonstration sport in 2016, off the roster in 2020.
  • Gymnastics (Rhythmic, aka "child's toys")
    • Ok, this is the child's toy event, right? I mean... hula hoops, balls, ribbons, and clubs? Well, maybe not clubs. That's probably not a suitable child's toy. Maybe that's what this event needs, more weapons! I say we let the girls incorporate any of the fencing swords, and we bust out "Rhythmic Claymore Gymnastics" as it's own separate event.
  • Handball
    • See "Hockey, Field"
  • Judo
    • I think we can all agree that judo is pretty much perfect as it is, but I would add the classic "Open" category, where there are no weight restrictions.
      • Yeah, I know. Not funny. But hey, make your own list.
  • Modern Pentathlon
    • Currently consists of pistol shooting, fencing, swimming, riding, running. It's meant to simulate what a turn-of-the-century message carrier might encounter during wartime. Shouldn't we add an updated version? Most people have never been in a war though, so we should use war movies as our inspiration:
      • Super-Modern Pentathlon Events:
        • 1) Mowing down a forest with a chaingun.
        • 2) Bare-handed neck snapping.
        • 3) Slowly emerging from the water with a vicious look on your face. Must go undetected by the judges.
        • 4) Tank-hijacking, then driving down an obstacle course on a crowded city street.
        • 5) Sprinting, then diving as a building blows up behind you. Points are given for distance and facial expression.
  • Rowing
    • New event: Rowboats. Not the fancy schmancy kind they currently use, I'm talking about the god-forsaken rowboats I've used that are twice as wide as they are long. Take that, rowers.
  • Sailing
    • New event: Piracy. You try and board each other's ships, last man standing wins.
  • Shooting
    • Well heck, this could be anything. Let's just throw bazooka into there and be done with it.
  • Soccer/Football
    • It's a big sport, but there's a few ways to a switch it up a bit:
      • Option 1: Co-ed
        • Not only would it be fun to see how the players incorporate the different genders, but it would be great to see who goes ballistic when one of the girls is spiked by a guy on the other team. In order of which country's guys would get most angry I'd say 1) USA, 2) Canada (because they REALLY need the girls to win), and 3)  Germany . Greece would just field 5 players (Seriously Greece... your women's team is ranked 59th? Behind soccer powerhouses like Vietnam and Chinese Taipei? For Allah's sake, you're ranked behind Iran's women's team!).
      • Option 2: Indoor
        • This would be insanely fast. Downside is the need for a new venue.
      • Option 3: Charlie Brown Soccer
        • Did you ever play this as a kid? Straight-up soccer, but with two balls. How awesome would that be? Complete chaos, more scoring, and teams would be desperate to try and get both balls under control at once. I'm all in on this one.
  • Swimming
    • This is the one that kicked it off. It basically seems like each event is based on varying degrees of efficiency moving through the water, so I'd say we add:
      • Option 1: Dog Paddle
        • Come on, this makes no less sense than the butterfly stroke does.
      • Option 2: Underwater Swim
        • This actually used to be an event. With underwater cameras this could work nowadays.
      • Option 3: Upright Swim
        • The speed-walking equivalent. You can't go below 80 degrees from vertical. Hey look swimming, you started it.
      • Option 4: Water Hurdles
        • I'm taking this from track. Stick a bar underwater at the halfway point for the athletes to swim under!
  • Synchronized Swimming
    • Just add a men's event already. It's sexist right now and besides, the whole world is missing out on some serious comedy. Plus, I'd like to see what an Arabic country's men's synchro routine looks like.
  • Table Tennis
    • Swap the ping-pong ball for one of those super-bouncy balls everyone had as a kid. Man, that sucker would move.
  • Taekwondo
    • Wrestling has versions where some things are allowed and others aren't. I think there's opportunity here. Taekwondo should add a division with headbutting.
  • Tennis
    • Tennis competes on different surfaces: Grass, Clay, Hardcourt. Olympics should do something to stand out. Like adding a teflon surface.
  • Track and Field
    • Ok, this is a huge freaking category and it's already a long post so let's just add an event for each:
      • Track: Cartwheels and/or Backwards Running
        • Hey, if swimming can just change the way you get from Point A to Point B, why can't track? I'd like to see the 100m cartwheel, wouldn't you? In fact, we should add a fourth mode of transport so they can do a 4x100 medley. Let's say Cartwheels, Backwards Running, Skipping (your hands have to alternate which side of your body they're on with each step), and "Freestyle".
      • Field: Baseball Bat Spin
        • Remember when you were a kid and you'd have a sports day or something and they'd get you to spin around with your forehead planted on a baseball bat sticking vertically from the ground? It'd make you super dizzy and you could barely run straight. You could add that to anything! I mean how funny would it be to see high jump or pole vault... no wait, they'd kill themselves. What about javelin or discus or... no, they'd kill someone else. Hell, they'd probably break a leg just doing long jump. Ok, I'm changing this one.
      • Field: Obstacle Course
        • I would love to see some sort of obstacle course. Can you imagine? You'd be blown away when some guy roars up a cargo net or hurdles a 12 foot wall like it was nothing. Make this happen I.O.C.
  • Triathlon
    • Toss in an Ironman division (can you tell I'm running out of juice?)
  • Water Polo
    • Let them use their horses. Ok, I should be shot for using that joke.
  • Weightlifting
    • Take a page out of the Highland Games/World's Strongest Man here. I want caber toss and truck pulling dammit!
  • Wrestling
    • SUMO!

*I'm actually not.


COMPLETE TANGENT:
I think the best part about the Olympics is hitting the refresh button on the website. It's so thrilling. "What happened? Has someone done something amazing since the last time I hit 'refresh'?" I mean, nothing captures the thrill of an Olympic moment like seeing it displayed in text on a computer screen.

On a related note: ATTENTION AUSTRALIA! THE INTERNET IS NOT A PASSING FAD. YOU SHOULD EMBRACE IT. NO, REALLY. IT'S A BIG THING IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE. JUST GIVE IT A WHIRL, YOU MIGHT LIKE IT.

Honestly? How is it that my dorm room 15 years ago had better internet connectivity than a country that ostensibly holds 4 of the 10 most livable cities in the world? And why is nothing shown live on the internet? Waaaa??? Given how pumped Oz is about their amateur sports teams I assumed people would actually be interested in watching them compete. But No Cable TV = No Olympics for you. AAAARRGHHHH!!!


Therein ends the humour portion of this post. The part down here is just, y'know, other stuff.

Men's -66 kg Judo Quarterfinal Explained:
For those who are interested, and I can't imagine who wouldn't be, here's why the -66kg judo quarterfinal was correctly overturned:


Ebimuna almost scored in Golden Score, which should have been enough to give him the win. This is why the crowd went bonkers when the match was awarded to Cho – if the judges had to go to video review on Ebimuna's throw it should have been good enough to award him kinsa (advantage). Since the winner is supposed to be the player with the most decisive technique in GS, that kinsa meant it should have been Ebimuna. That’s why the IJF got involved.


In the old days it was about who was more aggressive overall, which may be why they called Cho on the mat; old habits die hard. They’ve changed the rules though so players are more decisive in their attacks instead of just trying to look busy.


The IJF put a full explanation up on their website: http://www.intjudo.eu/News/cikk2249

1 comment:

  1. I think we can all agree that judo is pretty much perfect as it is, but I would add the classic "Open" category, where there are no weight restrictions.

    ReplyDelete