With the Olympics less than a year away, I have a couple complaints that I would like the IOC to consider:
First, I do not support the inclusion of any sport that is not played in childhood. Synchronized swimming is a good example. No kid jumps into the pool, hoping to find a friend who will swim around “Just like me!” while accompanied by music.
Children who might want to do something like this invariably have no friends to swim with anyway.
Sports like synchronized swimming also require the use of judges to determine a winner, another practice that I abhor. If your sport utilizes a judge as the sole means of deciding the gold, silver and bronze medal winners, it is no longer a sport. It is a performance.
We might as well include break dancing, poetry slams, and magic shows as Olympic events if we’re going to rely on judges to decide a competitors fate.
I also do not like it when Olympic sports are removed from the games. In 2012 baseball and softball are being removed from the list of events.
Have these sports become so unpopular that nations can no longer field teams? With the amount of baseball talent coming out of the Caribbean, South America, and Japan, I hardly think so.
So what gives?
Golf was once an Olympic sport as well, more than a hundred years ago but not since. It will reappear in 2012 but only on a trial basis. Yet the PGA tour is full of international players, and Europe has its own version of the PGA tour across the pond, not to mention the international Ryder Cup competition each year. So why not include a sport as popular as golf as an Olympic event? If sports like judo and badminton remain on the schedule, why not genuinely popular sports like golf and baseball? It would seem to me that the more events, the better. Right?
Of course, I guess removing the occasional event isn’t all bad. In 1900 live pigeon shooting made its first and only appearance in the Olympic Games. The object of this event was to shoot and kill as many birds as possible. The birds were released in front of a participant and the winner was the competitor who shot down the most birds from the sky.
I know it’s wrong to assume that people living a hundred years ago were stupid and barbaric, but an event like live pigeon shooting make it difficult to think otherwise.