By Laura K. Bedingfield on August 16, 2012
You’ve either been off the grid or in a coma if you didn’t realize that the Summer Olympics just wrapped up in London. This past Sunday found the 302-event sports-a-rama winding down after 15 days of non-stop competition. Those beach volleyball girls can put their clothes back on now.
The Olympics rock. I am a mega-Olympic nerd, so I went online this morning to find out when I could get my next fix: only 539 days until the Opening Ceremonies for the Winter Games in Sochi.
(It’s in Russia. Don’t worry; I had to look it up, too.)
Being a Winter Olympian takes some guts and mad skills. I mean, the Summer Olympics has some scary events, but if you fall, it’s on a mat (gymnastics) or into some water (platform diving). The Winter Olympics don’t play around; it’s a white-knuckled, nail-biter from start to finish. We’re talking sports filled with ice, speed and insanity, any one of which can kill you dead in the blink of an eye. Well, maybe except curling. That sport is ridiculous, but come 2014, I’ll be right there, cheering on our sweepers.
Meredith over on the hilarious blog, Pile of Babies, recently posted about 7 sports which had been discontinued from the Summer Olympics. Seriously, if you want to howl with laughter, read her article. She inspired me, so I did a quick search-a-roo on Olympic sports, both has-beens and wanna-bes. Oh, Nelly.
Leading the wanna-be’s (sports which have been demonstrated at the Games but for some reason or another–I mean, really–were not actually added):
Glima: also known as “folk wrestling”. Practice for this event takes place nightly at my house.
Savate: a fancy word for “French footfighting”. If my sons’ glima careers don’t work out, there’s always this.
Weight training with dumbbells. The snatch and the clean and jerk are just too easy when you get to use 2 hands, you dummies.
Skijoring: letting a horse (a horse, I say) pull you on snow skis. There is a variant for wusses where dogs are used instead. Or you could do the version of skijoring we used to do growing up in my neighborhood: your “skis” are skateboards, your “horse,” a pal on a bicycle. And we didn’t wear helmets. Take that, Skeleton.
Pigeon Racing: Finally, a use for rats with wings. Forget “Call Me Maybe.” Just imagine what the Pigeon Racers could do with this gem.
Bandy: Soccer on ice with sticks. Or, hockey with a ball instead of a puck.
Cannon Shooting: I cannot possibly imagine why this sport was never upgraded to a medal-worth event.
Kite Flying. An Olympic event primed and ready for today’s society. No special dietary restrictions or sweating required. Overheard in the locker room:
“Hey, Eddie! Dude, you look beat; whatcha been doing?”
“Man, I’ve been hitting it hard, practicing my kite flying, you know. Coach says I really need to work on unrolling my string better. Now make some room for me in that ice bath. And pass me a Bud Light.”
Ski Ballet. Wikipedia’s description: “A…routine of flips, rolls, leg crossings, jumps, and spins.” My description: “Somebody call the Ski Patrol.”
Hurling. The sport of choice for frat boys.
Fire Fighting. Typically practiced at the conclusion of hurling practice at the frat house. Coach says it’s never really a practice until something catches on fire.
If you’re a French footfighting Pigeon Racer whose life-long goal has been the Rio Games in 2016 (please note the assumption that Pigeon Racing would be a summer event), I’m so sorry. It might be time for you to take up a new sport that actually has a chance of being medal worthy one day, such as:
Surfing. Did you know there are 48 land-locked countries in the world?Cool Runnings doesn’t seem so far-fetched anymore now does it?
Billiards. For the Ivy League frat guys too cool for Hurling or Fire Fighting. Very few Vineyard Vines shirts are ruined during Billiard practice. Not so for Hurling or Fire Fighting.
Lifesaving. Yep. Some call it Med School; others call it a denied Olympic Sport.
Orienteering. Eagle Scouts unite. The Geocachers aren’t just gonna roll over, though, so consider yourselves warned.
Korfball. Co-ed Basketball, but with a much cooler name than “Co-ed Basketball”.
Chess. And some of you think Cheerleading isn’t a sport. Like, seriously.
Cricket. Matches can last up to 5 days. With 204 participating nations, it would be all-cricket, all-the-time. Bor-ing. (Yes, those are crickets chirping.)
These sports are just an Application for Inclusion away from being medal worthy. Luckily, it takes a minimum of 7 years for an IOC recognized sport to become a true Olympic Sport, so you have some time to practice up.
2020 will be here before you know it, and my coaching services are still available. So call me, maybe.
Laura Bedingfield Herakovich does know that Hurling isn’t actually Projectile Vomiting; it’s kinda, sorta like lacrosse.
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