Sure, we were inspired when Michael Phelps broke every world record ever despite a presumably painful condition that causes him to shit gold medals. But take a look down the roster of Olympic events and you'll see those ... other sports. The ones that draw crowds with less energy and a higher concentration of parents than a 5 year-old's piano recital.
Luckily, there's a tier of sports-in-waiting that are "officially recognized" by the Olympic Committee and could be added at any time. Here are six that make us wonder what the hell they're waiting for:
If you watch some of the track and field events and think how much cooler it would be if the contestants were in helicopters, then rotorsports are for you. That's right, helicopter racing is among the sports recognized by the International Olympic Committee, but were apparently considered too awesome to include in the games. With top speeds over 200 miles an hour, it's all of the fun of Formula One racing with the added bonus of giant, spinning, metal blades of death.
Sure there's the issue of whether this is really a sport as the helicopter is doing the work, but the same argument applies to Dressage, and Olympic event which is basically slow horse dancing, where the rider does fuck all except tell the horse where to go. You decide what looks cooler:
Anytime you have fast moving machines you also get the potential for some fearsome crashes and, just like NASCAR, a lot of us would tune in just for that. The difference is that when a helicopter goes down it doesn't just crash, it also breaks apart into big, angry pieces looking to take down everyone else around it.
Tell us that wasn't more entertaining than watching some guy swim really fast.
Wushu is a Chinese martial art that is also among the sports recognized by the IOC. Jet Li was a Wushu champion and fucking Darth Maul (Ray Park) used it. When we found out that some Wushu events like duilian involve two or more people and weapons, we wondered why the Olympics aren't made up of nothing but that.
OK, so the fighting is choreographed ahead of time. But, so is the floor exercise in gymnastics and you have to agree that watching two guys perform a scene from a Kung Fu movie right before your eyes is way more interesting than watching some dude in tight shorts do cartwheels by himself. The video up there alone should demonstrate the crazy amount of skill required to avoid getting impaled by a 4 foot-long spear.
Sure, it's easy when no one is trying to stab you in the face.
Competitors are judged on style and technique. We're not sure whether points for coming closest to death are also given but if not, they should be.
#4. Speed Skiing
This sport was a demonstration sport in 1992 and needs to be brought back, just for the sheer ball-rattling craziness of it. Speed skiing is the second fastest non-motorized sport in the world with a world record of 156 miles an hour. The only sport where people go faster without an engine is skydiving. Yes, to go faster than these guys go on skis, you have to throw yourself out of a fucking plane.
The rules are simple, don't die and go as fast as you can, in that order, as dying is an automatic disqualification. It seems going downhill on two-10 inch wide planks twice as fast as most people will ever drive isn't insane enough because the skiers are constantly trying to find ways to gain more speed. Innovations in the sport include a shell to cover your fat ass to reduce drag and a parachute to help slow you down (or to wrap up your bloody, pulpy body after you crash).
If you want to get a sense of the sheer speeds involved here, check out the video of this skier biting it Six Million Dollar Man style.
Yeah, he appears to still be going over 100 MPH even after he's skidding along the ice on his face. When you crash at those speeds, you're actually going so fast that the friction of your suit against the snow actually causes it to melt and burn you.
That's right, because it isn't enough that you might die from fright or being thrown like a rag doll, you also have to worry about burning large areas of your body on fucking snow.