Tell us that wasn't more entertaining than watching some guy swim really fast.
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.
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.
LeCanne appeared in the 1924 Olympics, but was never brought back, presumably because watching two guys bash each other with sticks while jumping around like fucking Neo from the Matrix caused spectators back then to crap their bloomers and/or drop their monacles.
The sport was developed back in the old timey days when men still carried canes, even if they had two perfectly good legs. It was like having a wallet chain, except that it didn't make you look like a douche. Eventually someone figured out the cane could also be used to smack the shit out of muggers. Soon a new martial art was born and became awesome, despite being French.
Today it's known as Canne De Combat and points are scored by smashing your opponent upside the head, torso or calf. Nut shots are not allowed unless your opponent is actually trying to take your wallet. Competitors wear padding similar to fencers and the cane itself is made out of light weight wood so the fighters can't knock each other out (apparently that used to be a real problem).
Unlike fencing, where the competitors are restricted to stepping back and forth on a narrow mat, Canne fighters run around the ring like the freaking Tasmanian Devil. And while it already looks like a fucking ninja video game, there are some events that up the ante by equipping each fighter with two canes. By next year we expect them to add a cage to the ring and glue broken glass to the canes.
You might think we can't seriously be talking about the playground game with two teams pulling on a rope. You'd be wrong. This favorite of Boy Scout jamborees, fat kids at summer camps and cheesy 80's celebrity T.V. competitions was an official sport for five Olympic games from 1900-1920. In 1912 only two teams competed so although Britain claimed the Silver medal, those fuckers in fact finished in last place.
The event was a carryover from the ancient Olympic games except that they dropped the requirement that the competitors be nude, probably due partly to the dangers of rope burn and the risk of an accidental man-orgy should the other teams suddenly let go of the line.
The event was played out just like the playground, with two teams of eight players pulling until one team had pulled the other past a line. Though, at the international level the sport looks less like your awkward uncle at a picnic and more like an angry, grunting science.
The sport is already a serious affair with 55 nations competing at the world championships. Plus the rule book is 84 pages long, including 11 official referee signals, which seems like overkill for a sport that is the equivalent of a group arm wrestle.
Sure, the Olympics still have a bunch of shooting events but they are all pretty much boring, consisting usually of a bunch of people standing quietly and taking shots at paper targets. This is a little like watching bowling, but without even that level of athleticism. It's time to bring back dueling pistols.
Yes, we said bring "back". Dueling pistols was an actual Olympic event, though that was only in one Olympics (1906). After that it was discontinued because the losers were dead.
Alright, that last part isn't true, though it would have been awesome if it was. The event actually consisted of competitors shooting the shit out of mannequins with bulls eyes on their chests. To appease the more bloodthirsty in the crowd, the mannequins were dressed in frock coats, apparently so fans could better pretend that actual people were being gunned down in the name of sport.
This sport is tailor made for today's more violent society. Plus the frocks could be replaced by the opposing teams' jerseys, bringing even more nationalistic fervor to the event.
If you're thinking that people wouldn't really want to see this event, a poll before the 2000 Olympics proves you wrong. Dueling pistols finished second in a list of sports people would choose to bring back, thus confirming that nothing brings the world together like simulated murder.
For our own insane ideas for shaking things up, check out 20 Ideas For Making the Olympics Kick Way More Ass. Or for some activities that would make great events if they actually had rules that made sense, check out The 10 Most Insane "Sports" in the World.
Bawitdaba, pass the green beans.
It's hard out there for millionaire purveyors of garbage pizza.