The 7 Easiest Olympic Events to Win a Medal In
Like many of you, I spent most of the past weekend elbow deep in a bag of Cheetos while watching the Olympics. "Ha ha ha ha ha!" I cackled, spraying cheese crumbs everywhere, while watching male gymnasts eat total shit on failed high bar maneuvers. "Not so pretty anymore, are you?" I shrieked, desperately hoping no one would know how incredibly, threateningly pretty I thought they still were.
But as I wallowed in confusing feelings and corn snacks, it occurred to me that, just perhaps, instead of the elite athletes, I was the one who was actually the loser. Thinking about it only hurt more; unlike these athletes, the only thing I've ever dedicated my life to is penis jokes, a skill that is unlikely to ever get me on a box of cereal. Not a good cereal, anyways.
"Cracked Brand Oated Wheat? Man, fuck you, Mom."
"Curse you, self-reflection!" I cursed, immediately longing for my home in the warm waters of self-delusion. Which is how I began wondering what it would take for me, a man-shaped beast, to win an actual Olympic medal myself. The final result being this list, a summary of the seemingly easiest Olympic events to win a medal in.
And yes, Olympians (who I imagine to be hanging around the Olympic Village reading Cracked), I understand that every Olympic event is incredibly, incredibly difficult. But certainly some of them are more difficult than others. Some of these sports look like they require "merely" a few years of training and a modest level of physical fitness, compared with, say, the lifetime of effort and freakish sport-specific X-Men bodies needed to succeed in others. I might lack the size 15 feet to be an Olympic-caliber swimmer, but I could probably figure out how a sailboat works.
Unless that needs math. Does it need math? Shit. OK, well, there are other choices ...
Team-Based Sports (Soccer, Basketball, Field Hockey, Handball)
The idea here should be obvious. You somehow sneak your way onto a team of elite athletes, possibly via subterfuge, and then try to stay out of their way while they win the medal for you.
It's hard to tell from this picture, but the guy at the back there is smoking.
The very nature of large team-based sports requires teams to bring substitutes, who, if all goes according to plan, will never take off their warmup pants. For example, if you're the backup goaltender for a soccer team, I'm pretty sure your primary role is just cruising around the Olympic Village, trying to nail synchronized divers.
The downside to this plan, assuming you're not exceptionally good at subterfuge (not yet an Olympic event), is that managing to get even a substitute spot on a medal-potential team is extremely difficult. Being the second best goaltender in Brazil, for example, still involves a great deal of skill and fitness, which many of us, the non-Brazilians in particular, will probably have trouble coming up with.
I'm not going to dump on curling too much; I am actually a fan, or as much as someone who watches about two ends a year can call himself a fan. But this is another team-based sport, which requires substitutes, whose, if they're lucky, only duty during the games will be "keeping warm."
Substitute curlers almost never get to nail synchronized divers, for at least a couple reasons.
Yes, curlers, I know this game does require quite a bit of skill, and a lot of dreadful practice and effort to attain said skill. But it does not, as yet, require broad, Superman chests, or even the flower of youth. Although elite curlers' physical fitness has improved in recent years, this is still a sport that, at very high levels of competition, involves the regular consumption of booze.
Another team-based event, although you won't be able to sit one of these out, at least not at the beginning. But for at least three of the team members involved in a four-man bobsleigh, their Olympic duties can be summarized as: push then sit. There's also a kind of tricky little jump that involves probably a thousand subtleties that I'm surely not appreciating, but otherwise this looks pretty doable.
I could sit way better than this guy.
Obviously these guys are extremely good at pushing, to the point that they must just destroy civilian shopping carts whenever they visit Safeway. Most of them presumably go through the same sort of training regimens that track and field athletes do, which exhausts me even to type about.
But still. Sitting. On the list it goes.
50m Rifle Prone
And from sitting, let's relax a bit, and switch to one of the sports performed while "lying very still." That's being a bit glib, to be sure. They do lie spectacularly still, to the point that they possibly have some of those discussed X-Men-like genes. Slothman or somesuch. That's probably hard to learn.
But then there's the small matter of the equipment:
This isn't a rifle; it looks like something out of fucking Macross. This looks like it should be used for attacking the moon.
Even with rules and design limits on how these rifles are assembled, in any sport where technology plays such a big part, it's possible for particularly well funded or enabled competitors to gain a competitive advantage. Now, I'm not overly familiar with the rules for Olympic shooting -- maybe that's impossible -- but when the competitors are using video game guns, I'm going to continue screaming "OMG! HAX!!!!!" at the television with every bull's-eye.
Dressage is that one equestrian event without running, or jumping, or anything even remotely exciting happening. It's basically horse ballet, and while that sounds like it could be really pretty funny, that's because you're imagining it with the horse wearing a tutu. That doesn't happen with dressage.
No! Put the funny hat on the horse, not the rider! Such a missed opportunity, dressage.
Most importantly, dressage looks incredibly easy. But let's be generous, and assume it's one of those sports that is only meant to look easy. Like it only looks easy when it's done by highly trained elite athletes. These are horses after all, who are, as near as I can tell, some kind of combination between a dog and a bicycle, neither of which is terribly intelligent. Getting a horse to walk in a straight line has got to be a lot tougher than it looks.
But what really gets dressage on the Easy Sports list is because it's evidently only practiced by princesses and other people who can afford to spend a million dollars on a dog-bicycle. The 1 percent, essentially. Everything comes easy to these assholes.
Sports are regularly added and dropped from the Olympic slate, which presents an obvious opportunity for us, the chair-centric medal seekers: the chance to compete in a sport where the competition may not be that deep. Obviously one of the conditions the IOC looks for when considering which sports to admit is the strength of competition, but it's unlikely that any new sport is going to have the same breadth of talent as, say, swimming. As an example, the very first gold medalist in snowboarding tested positive for marijuana, which is famously not considered to be a performance-enhancing drug, excepting sports where hands-awareness is crucial.
So look at the list of newish Olympic events and target one of those. This year there's women's boxing, so if you're a lady and into punching ladies, maybe look that up. Or consider beach soccer, which is a potential candidate for a medaled event in Rio in 2016.
You know. Soccer. Just on a beach.
Although most nations will surely be competing for who can lose the least badly to the Brazilians, that still leaves two medals to aim for. And compared to more established sports, it'd probably take only mild subterfuge to get a position as a backup beach soccer goaltender. You've got four years, folks; try it out! Get yourself a bronze tan to go with your silver medal to go with your always golden synchronized diver nailing.
The Easiest Sport of All
So let's take what we've learned so far, and deduce the easiest sport to medal in. It should be team-based, to accommodate the hope that your teammates will do all the work for you. It should, strictly speaking, not exist yet, to account for the fact that winning medals is easier if no one is competing against you. And it should involve minimal physical fitness, to account for the fact that you're reading Cracked right now. So, after punching all of these factors into the Cracked Supercomputer, we get:
Four-Man Synchronized Horseshoes
Being the fifth man in a four-man Olympic horseshoes team is, at present, the easiest possible route to an Olympic medal. The only difficult thing about this is the fact that the sport is nowhere near close to existing yet, a fact that the IOC may get a bit hung up on when considering it for an upcoming Olympics. But even that isn't that hard to get around, because lest we forget, the IOC is spectacularly corrupt. A few diamond-encrusted horseshoes sent to the right people will surely overcome any such difficulties.
Or, failing that, a few sturdy, horseshoe-callused-handed handjobs for the right people.