The Olympics are over and that means I can go back to being uninterested in some other form of current affairs. I didn't really viewed too much of the 2012 London experience. It wasn't Channel 9's fault, unlike other things in my life such as repeated Saturday evening exposures to "Australia's Funniest Home Videos" and a disliking of the name 'Karl'. I just didn't engage with 'The Games'. Australia has performed so badly, that our athletes are set to receive a welcome back home that'll make Vietnam veterans think they were given the red carpet. I have no doubt that in 10 years time, scores of bikie gangs will start to emerge, headed by the most bitter and bad ass Australia Institute of Sport alumni this land has ever seen.
Still, I remain unimpressed.What has struck me this time watching the games, and I know a few others have also observed similar, is how loose some of the definitions of 'Sport' are in the Olympic format. Australia's golden moments have been few. In fact there were two great moments- Stephanie Rice in her bathers and the performance of our Sailing team. The fact that we were participating in an event like Sailing, has tipped off a much needed debate. What is Sailing (and other 'Sports' like it) doing in the Olympics?
My basic argument is thus: if you can do said activity for fun, transport or hobby then it is not an Olympic Sport! Below is the shortlist for excluded 'Sports'.
- Sailing- guys in Boat shoes are not elite athletes, just badly dressed. As interesting as watching an old guy gutting fish.
- Equestrian- why stop at horses? People ride other things. Where are the camels?The elephants? Off with its head!
- Cycling- The road and velodrome can stay, because I cannot argue against the force that is Lycra. But Mountain Bikes and BMX? Surely they are in there just so the teenage gymnasts have teenage boys to pash at the closing ceremony? Won't stop Kobe Bryant though.
- Handball- Naming a game after a logical resting place for its featured equipment, does not make the game Olympic standard. I am pretty sure this isn't played outside of Estonia, much like the music of Russel Crowe's 30 Odd Foot of Grunt.
- Trampoline- surely this isn't serious? The only logical step from here then is to introduce the 20m Slippery Slide and Totem Tennis. Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on this one as it is ripe for Aussie domination judging by the backyards of Australian suburbs.
- Walking- I do this every day. Most of us do. When I heard that it was an Olympics sport when I was a kid, I thought "Why didn't someone tell me I can be a professional athlete doing this?! Training would be so easy!" Then I saw grown men travel 20-50km looking like they need to badly find a toilet.
Special mentions go to Tennis and Soccer. You have your own things. You don't need the Olympics. Leave. Make space for two events I would like to formally see all the nations compete in- Opening and Closing Ceremony's. The only way I can justify keeping the above mentioned sports is if we go back to the original spirit of the Olympics. The way the ancients intended it-Faster, Higher, Stronger...Nude. But we can still ditch Walking, that's just poo.