Let the Games Begin!

What is the real point of the Olympic games?  In the ancient world, the games featured running events, a pentathlon (consisting of a jumping event, discus and javelin throws, a foot race, and wrestling), boxing, wrestling, Pankration, and equestrian events – all talents that coincided with success on the battlefield.

What’s that?  Never heard of “Pankration”?   It was a no-holds-barred, ultimate fighting competition that makes Krav Maga look like a little girls’ tea party.  The only illegal moves were biting and “gouging the opponent’s eyes out.”  One has to wonder at the incident that necessitated that rule.  Signature moves included stomach kicks, tracheal grip chokes, and an arm lock specifically designed to dislocate the shoulder.

Now, I can understand how other events were added along the way.  Many different athletic events have some semblance to military skills.  Navy Seals have to be strong swimmers.  Snipers must be skilled with a rifle.  The ability to lift heavy weights translates to strength in hand-to-hand combat.  Even most gymnastic events require the agility, balance, and muscle desirable in a soldier.   But there are a few events that make me think we have pushed the envelope too far.

(Editor’s Note: I have no doubt that even the least talented competitor in any of these events if more physically fit than me, but these “sports” have inspired my ridicule nonetheless.)

Rhythmic Gymnastics

There have been battles in which a soldier has carried a flag to rally the troops, but I can’t recall a military encounter where someone artistically wiggled a streamer at the enemy.  I’ll bet Quentin Tarantino could deliver a scene where a hula hoop and a rubber ball are used in a creatively deadly fashion, but that would be a stretch even for him.


Synchronized Swimming

Any event that requires copious makeup and hair gel is suspect from the get-go.  Isn’t this just ballroom dancing underwater with all girls?  What?  Ballroom dancing is now an Olympic sport, too?  You have got to be kidding.


Competitive Ballroom Dance

Just the term “Dancesport” is laughable.  Spellcheck doesn’t even recognize it for Christ’s sake!  No soldier ever crushed the enemy due to his or her musicality or expression.  “1… 2… cha, cha, cha.  Mortar… round… cha, cha, cha…” are not words you’ll hear on the battlefield.


Table Tennis

Is beer pong next?  We’re talking about a sport that originated as pastime played on kitchen tables.  By this same logic, “Dungeons & Dragons” should be in the games as well.  At least that can involve some military strategy.


Beach Volleyball

I think this one was added at the insistence of the producers of Bud Light commercials.  This is soft-core porn on the sand.  No one would be surprised if a mustachioed man walked on the court and told these chicks that they could come to “some other arrangement” to pay for the pizza he was delivering.


Leave a Reply