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The New Games Begin
by Mad Dog
The skeleton is is
like the luge except they go down head first. You know, the same way you
did on your Flexible Flyer when you were a kid except they won’t have
to dodge cars at the bottom of the hill.
||The Olympic games have
begun. Over 2,500 athletes from 80 countries are in Salt Lake City to
participate in 68 events involving eight sports over an 18-day period.
Oh yeah, and go through an estimated 12,000 condoms. That’s six per
person, though if you figure they’re pairing off it means each couple
will have 12 between them. In other words, they’ll be having sex less
than once a day. And they call this an Olympics? In Sydney they went
through 70,000 condoms. Of course they have Foster’s there.
While sex is apparently sanctioned,
it’s not an Olympic event, though it should be if they really want to
boost their viewership. After all, people get tired of watching the same
old things. That’s why each time the Olympics rolls around they add a
few new events to keep things fresh. In the last Winter Olympics they
added curling, snowboarding, women’s ice hockey, and freestyle skiing.
These went over pretty well, which isn’t surprising since it’s hard
to get tired of watching people sweep ice (it’s the 21st century, get
a Zamboni already!), piss off skiers, swarm the ice trying to retrieve
women’s front teeth as souvenirs, and flip head over heels while
skiing. On purpose.
This time around they’re not adding
anything nearly as exciting. There’s the women’s bobsleigh, which
for unknown reasons is how they decided to spell bobsled this year, and
the skeleton, which is like the luge except they go down head first. You
know, the same way you did on your Flexible Flyer when you were a kid
except they won’t have to dodge cars at the bottom of the hill. Leave
it to the Olympics to take the fun out of everything.
The World Bridge
Federation held a tournament in Salt Lake City hoping to convince the
Powers That Be to add bridge to the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy.
Right, as if the 20-Meter Shroud Jump won’t lend enough new excitement
to those games.
they’ve added is a biathlon. The biathlon is an event which combines
two sports, cross-country skiing and target shooting, which is as
logical as pairing water polo and equestrian or ice hockey and boxing.
Okay, some combinations work better than others. This year they’ve
added pursuit, which has nothing to do with pursuing anyone or anything.
It means that after they ski they’ll stop and shoot their rifle while
laying down and standing up. They would have called it Trivial
Pursuit—which would have kept them within the truth in advertising
laws—but they were afraid of a trademark infringement suit.
really want to make the biathlon more interesting they should forget
shooting at targets and have the athletes shoot at the Olympic mascots.
Yes, as if Waldi the dachshund, Syd the platypus, and Izzy the
whatever-the-hell-it-was weren’t bad enough, this year they have three
mascots: Powder, Copper, and Coal, which are a rabbit, coyote, and bear.
Okay, so Bugs, Wily, and Smokey were already taken, couldn’t they have
come up with better names than they did?
If they really want to spice up the
Olympics and increase interest they should start by reversing the new
ice skating rule, in which judges will deduct a tenth of a point for any
“undignified” moves. This eliminates spinning around while holding
your partner upside down with her legs around your neck, bumping and
grinding your hips, or acting like Carrot Top. Okay, so there is one
good side to this.
One event some people are trying to
add to the Winter Olympics is—True Fact Alert!—bridge. Yes, the
World Bridge Federation (motto: “We knew trump was important before
Donald was even born”) held a tournament in Salt Lake City hoping to
convince the Powers That Be to add bridge to the 2006 Winter Games in
Turin, Italy. Right, as if the 20-Meter Shroud Jump won’t lend enough
new excitement to those games.
Another nice addition would be the Downhill Souvenir Smash,
especially since this year they’re outdoing themselves in that
The WBF is completely undaunted by the fact that International
Olympic Committee rules say winter events have to be held on ice or
snow. They probably figure they’ll play while wearing skis and sitting
in a skeleton. They also don’t seem to care that a card playing
tournament with all the excitement of Charles Grodin on Quaaludes has a
snowball’s chance in Jamaica of making it in. Sure the I.O.C. declared
bridge a sport in 1995, but don’t forget they also officially deemed
chess and ballroom dancing to be sports. The next thing you know
they’ll add kickball, car parking, and Candyland to the roster.
One event they should consider adding
is Olympic shoplifting. That way four-time gold medalist Olga Korbut,
better known as “The Other Nadia Comaneci,” could make a comeback,
since she was recently arrested in Atlanta for allegedly shoving $19
worth of groceries in her purse and leaving the store. Of course if
she’s going to compete she’ll need to work on her style, form, and
amount. After all, Winona Ryder has her beat hands down, having been
charged with taking $4,700 worth of merchandise from a Beverly Hills
department store. It will be interesting to see if her defense of “I
was training for the Olympics when I went for the gold” holds up in
Another nice addition would be the
Downhill Souvenir Smash, especially since this year they’re outdoing
themselves in that department. Not only can you buy key chains and snow
globes, you can get official mascot bobbleheads, cheering bells (which
look like plain old cow bells to me), hockey pucks (blood extra), an
Olympic camping Dutch Oven (recipe book extra), leather wallet (empty
now, thanks to the high cost of food, lodging, and tickets), and even a
hockey stick rack. Hopefully one you can mount in the back of your
But until they add these we’ll have
to be content watching skiing, ice skating, hockey, and more teary
Olympic Moments than you can shake a McDonald’s commercial at. Don’t
complain, it will give you plenty of time to brush up on your bridge
©2002 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country.
Read them while waiting to try out for the Olympic bridge team .