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There's more about the Olympics!

Welcome to the iOlympics
by Mad Dog


If thereís one thing you discover after watching 8,247 hours of the Olympics on TV, itís that even a funny commercial becomes tiresome after seeing it three commercial breaks in a row. Well, that and it all starts to feel awfully, well, familiar.
The Winter Olympics are in full swing. This is when 5,500 amateur athletes from 82 countries compete in 86 events over 16 days while wondering why their professional counterparts are raking in the big bucks and theyíll be lucky to get their face plastered on a used Wheaties box. But thatís not really what itís about. Itís about pushing the human body and spirit. Itís about intense competition. Itís about bringing together representatives from more countries than could be mustered for the coalition that invaded Iraq. Okay, so itís 40 times as many countries. Whoís counting?

   If thereís one thing you discover after watching 8,247 hours of the Olympics on TV, itís that even a funny commercial becomes tiresome after seeing it three commercial breaks in a row. Well, that and it all starts to feel awfully, well, familiar. This shouldnít be surprising. After all, the Olympics have been around for 2,786 years and they basically havenít changed. You get a big crowd together, light a torch, then watch competitor after competitor try their hand at the same event. True, athletes nowadays have to wear clothes when they compete. And Greece was in better financial shape back then. But hey, thereís no need to pine for the good old days.

   Actually, there are a lot of differences between the original Olympics and the current ones. For one thing, the modern Olympics are held every two years, rotating between summer and winter sports. Obviously the ancient Greeks didnít have winter Olympics because snow boards, Scott Hamilton, and the Zamboni hadnít been invented yet. Not to mention that if youíd tried to convince the ancient Greeks that sliding a heavy round stone across the ice while your teammates use brooms to sweep in front of it was a sport, theyíd have sacrificed you to Zeus. On the other hand, they did have the feta throw, synchronized Spartan toss, and Greek-style wrestling (*wink*wink*) so you know they had fun.


Donít laugh, in 1995 the International Olympic Committee declared bridge a sport. Of course keep in mind that they also deemed chess and ballroom dancing to be sports so it was probably hard to tell the bridge players no.
   It doesnít help that there are no new events this year. Going into it theyíd considered adding skicrossóa ski version of snowboard cross, which is a version of motocross, which is, well, a raceówomenís ski jump, and mixed doubles curling, but really, those are just variations on old themes. Itís not like a couple of Olympics ago when they added the skeleton, which has competitors sliding down a hill head first atop a grown-up version of a Flexible Flyer, pretty much like you did as a kid except they donít have to dodge cars at the bottom of the hill. Leave it to the Olympics to take the fun out of everything.

   That same year they added the womenís bobsleigh, which was more notable for the mysterious dumping of the name bobsled, which is what it had been called since 1924. Heck, this year was so slack no one even tried to get bridge added as an event.

   Donít laugh, in 1995 the International Olympic Committee declared bridge a sport. Of course keep in mind that they also deemed chess and ballroom dancing to be sports so it was probably hard to tell the bridge players no. That was all the World Bridge Federation (motto: ďWe knew trump was important before Donald was even bornĒ) needed to hear. They turned around and lobbied to get bridge sanctioned as an event in the 2006 Winter Games in Turin. True I.O.C. rules say winter events have to be held on ice or snow, the WBF probably figured they could play while wearing skis or laying on a skeleton. Luckily the Powers That Be thought better of the plan, probably because they realized that a card playing tournament holds all the excitement of Charles Grodin on Ambien and, well, watching Bob Costas looking like a deer caught in the headlights is sleep-inducing enough.


It could include the 80GB iPod song shuffle, the 300dB cell phone shout, the marathon coffee drink order, team texting, and the 140-character Tweet relay
   What we need is new event blood. Like maybe a couple more biathlon events. They keep expanding the winter version of the biathlon, which logic defyingly combines cross-country skiing and shooting a rifle, so why not have curling using a hand grenade for the stone? Or figure skating while the competing teams wield slingshots? Better yet, letís drag the Olympics out of ancient history and into the 21st Century. Thatís right, itís time to make it over as the iOlympics.

   So itís not too much of a shock, they could ease into it slowly by adding one event to start. Say, the post-modern pentathlon. It could include the 80GB iPod song shuffle, the 300dB cell phone shout, the marathon coffee drink order, team texting, and the 140-character Tweet relay. Needless to say, uniforms will be all black, winners will be announced on their Facebook status, and it will be shown exclusively on YouTube. It would liven things up, give everyone something to talk about and, best of all, we can combine some of ancient and modern Greece together by watching it naked while broke. On our iPhone app. Now that sounds like a gold medal winner.

©2010 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read them while sweeping the ice in front of that hand grenade.

 

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