Tomorrow is the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, and for the past two weeks we’ve been watching sports like synchronized swimming, lots of running, track and field, diving and sports with and without balls.
But what happened to the good old days, when tug-of war was a sport? Never saw that this year, did ya? And if a game like curling can be included in the winter games, why can’t my Uncle Fred’s favourite, horseshoes, be included?
I know the Games are about amateur sport, but everything that is played professionally should also be played at the Olympics. After all, if millions of dollars in sponsorship, endorsements and audience are attracted to golf, or professional baseball than it should always be an official sport at the Games.
Baseball, in case you didn’t notice, was gone this year. So was softball. The International Olympic Committee voted in 2005 to drop baseball and softball from these 2012 Summer Games, making those two sports the first cut from the Games in 69 years. Each of the 28 existing sports was put to a secret vote by the IOC, and baseball and softball didn’t get enough votes to stay on the program. Baseball and softball are the first sports eliminated from the Games since polo in 1936. But yet water polo continues? The IOC continues to want for every country on earth to send representation to the games, so I think they should try to include more sports and not less.
Here are some other Olympic sports you can quickly get your children out of right away, just in case you had hopes of them joining the Canadian Olympic team because of their talents:
• Golf. It has its own channel. Everyone plays (although not very well) and every country has a golf course of some kind. Is it the cursing? Was it the bad fashion? It was Tiger Woods wasn’t it? Watching golf on TV is the best cure for insomnia, and with everyone wound so tight at the games, it is the perfect way to relax. Plus the commentators whisper. You gotta like the whisper. FACT: Golf only lasted in the Olympics for two years; 1900 and 1904.
• Motor boating. Can you imagine, Nascar on water at the Olympics? Balding beer bellied married men such as myself haven’t been this excited since they put beach volleyball into the Olympics. But long ago, it was determined the only help at the games from anything other than a human, would be a horse. Thus the equestrian events. Too bad. If they could have motor boating there may have been hope that maybe NASCAR could work its way into the games. FACT: This sport was in the games in the early 1900s back when boats with motors were something new and exciting.
• Lacrosse. Canada has new national sports, lacrosse and hockey. One is not a sport and the other is. Wouldn’t it be nice if our national sport was at the Games? When they first started, it was rugby with sticks. Virtually no equipment. No wonder nobody came out to play. News flash IOC: there’s protection for all now. Bring lacrosse back so we can get a hockey fix in summer! FACT: The first year the sport was a competition sport (1904), only three teams showed up to compete. In 1908 two teams showed. Lacrosse made appearances as a demonstration event in 1928, 1932 and 1948 before completely vanishing from the Olympics.
• Live pigeon shooting. PETA was angry at the Calgary Stampede for calf roping. I wonder how this would go over? I know if hunting were part of the Olympics we’d have a lot of gold medals hanging from the mirrors of trucks across Westman. And from antlers and mounted fish in many Brandon basements. Can’t imagine what getting through airport security would be like trying to get to the games loaded up with firearms. FACT: The 1900 Olympic Games in Paris hosted the only live pigeon shooting. The winner was Leon de Lunden of Belgium, who bagged 21 of the 300 birds.
• Rugby. Any sport similar to football, with more violence and less stoppage of play, is a great sport in my book. And with its popularity in Westman, we might just have a Canadian qualifier or two among our ranks. Bring it back IOC! FACT: The sport was an event in 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924. The four Olympics where rugby was played, only six teams every competed resulting in a lack of competition.
• Croquet. Okay, Olympic lawn darts may be asking for a bit much. Can’t even buy them anymore because they’re "dangerous". What is the javelin then? Anyway, another popular "yard game" in Westman was once a sport and should be brought back. The game had something to do with hitting a ball with mallet and trying to drive the ball through some metal hoops. In our version there was usually some yelling and tossing of the wooden balls at our opponent. The Olympics are to be played in the arena of peace and love, and with a game of hard balls and hammers, maybe that’s why it’s gone. FACT: Only played at the 1900 games, only France and Belgium took part. France took home all the medals.
• Tug-of-war. I could be an Olympian? I would be the anchor. I could win gold. They gotta bring this back. Remember playing this game in P.E.! What an exciting thing to watch on TV too! That little flag in the middle of the rope moving back and forth as athletes make the strangest faces ever known to many, making grunting and groaning noises that will scare small children. It would be great. And again, heavy folk like me could win Gold! That’s reason enough right there. FACT: Tug-Of-War was an active event in the Olympics in 1900, 1904, 1906,1908, 1912 and 1920.
• Water skiing. Guys, you think you like watching beach volleyball? Gals, you think you like watching men’s swimming? I think its safe to say we all want to see some water skiing. I’m sorry that we want to watch naked athletes, but c’mon. This has to come back to the Olympics. Water tubing: No. Water skiing? Yes. FACT: Water Skiing briefly made an appearance in the Olympics in 1972 but only as a demonstration sport. Six different water skiing events took place including figure skiing, slalom and skiing for both men and women.
No need to watch tape delay for the closing of the games. They wrap up with a massive show tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. local time.
Jokes this week
A man met a beautiful lady and they were married, but the two did not know much about each other. One morning, on their honeymoon at a lavish hotel, they were lying by the pool. He got up off his towel, climbed up to the 10-metre board and did a two-and-a-half tuck gainer, entering the water perfectly, almost without a ripple. This was followed by a three rotations in jackknife position before he again straightened out and cut the water like a knife. After a few more demonstrations, he came back and lay down on his towel.
She said, "That was incredible!"
He said, "I used to be an Olympic diving champion. I knew we’d learn more about ourselves as we went along."
So she got up, jumped in the pool and started doing laps. She was moving so fast that the froth from her pushing off at one end of the pool would hardly be gone before she was already touching the other end of the pool!
She did laps in freestyle, breast stroke, even butterfly! After about 30 laps, completed in mere minutes, she climbed back out and lay down on her towel, barely breathing hard.
He said, "That was incredible! Were you an Olympic endurance swimmer?"
"No," she said, "I was a hooker in Alabama and I worked both sides of the Tennessee River."
- Cheryl De Beer
- Mildred Zwarich
- Zack Kasto
- Paula Van Den Bosch
- Geraldine Pastoor
- Cheyenne Elk
- Karen Phillips
- Bev Eastcott-Leach
- Steven Robertson
- Amanda Larsen
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 11, 2012