Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Olympic Sports I don't understand

I have loved the olympic games. It's given me two weeks of constant competitive sport. Like most chaps regardless of what else is on television, sport will always be the default setting.

Also, like most chaps, I become a part time expert. Memorising little known facts and past performance statistics I like to be able to hold my own when discussing the dominance of the Dutch hockey team (both Men and Womens).

However, despite my best efforts, there are some sports in the Olympics that I have failed to fathom. No number of online tutorials or 'the basics' documents have helped me understand some of the more, entertaining, yet niche events.

Fencing -

Up until the Olympics I thought it was basically sword fighting. He who gets stabbed first loses. Makes sense at this point.

However after my firsting viewing I was lost. I was presented by two chaps lunging headlong at each other and points being adminstered at random, or so I thought. Turns out a sneaky tickle of the wrist is classed as a point.

I'm sure the reason is something to do with disarming your opponent, or hitting a major artery, but if they were fighting for real I somehow doubt this would stop the momentum of the attacker. The wrist tickler might have the moral high ground, but he'd still have a sword in his chest.

Solution: Kill shots = points.

Diving -

I understand the principle. People do fancy jumps and get points for doing so. The problem that I have is that one dive is pretty much the same as the other.
With the exception of a proper fuck up I can't distinguish from a good dive and a great dive.

I think the Mexican divers really knew what the score was, running up and jumping off is the real essence of jumping off big things.

Solution: one-up-manship. If someone does a flip, the next person does a backwards one. Also scrap the judges for a group of girls. Everyone does better dives when trying to impress some birds.

Handball -

The most entertaining, yet frustrating sport for me. I so wanted to follow what was going on, but I just couldn't get it, and I've taught myself baseball.

It's not football with hands, and that means it's also not rugby. It's not basketball or netball with goals. It's just handball. There's throwing, jumping, and bouncing. There's also fouls, and you don't even need a goalie. All in all it should be great.

All I need is someone to tell me what the fuck is going on.

Solution: make some bloody sense.

Beach Volleyball -

I love beach volleyball. From what I understand though it's an excuse to look at women's arses. Was there even a men's competition?

Probably, I'll never know. The point is why bother pretending it's a sporting event?

Solution: Really fit birds in all teams.

Keirin -

It's not a Japanese beer. It's something to do with cycling. Lots of cyclist ride round and someone wins.

What sets this apart is that for the first half of the race everyone chases a motor bike. It fucks off and then someone wins.

Solution: 15 gear mountain bikes.

Walking -

Let me make it clear I understand how walking is competitive. I just need to fall in sync with a fellow pedestrian and whether they know it out not, they are in a race. I just love it in the Olympics. I love the fact that a red table tennis paddle waved in front of you indicates that you may have broken into a run.

What I don't understand is how it became an Olympic sport. I mean it's just walking fast. The action required to walk that fast for that long means that a walkers hips, and nuts for that matter, are ground to dust.

The best thing is an Olympic walker has the bottle to stand next to marathon runners and say, "I'm an athlete".

Solution: add four shopping bags per competitor.

Dressage -
It's riding a horse round a square paddock, slowly. They don't run, they don't jump, they trot round.

How do you score that? How is that even competitive?

I watched one round of this and it was raining. The rider was pleased how it went despite the challenging conditions. Apparently the wind and rain make it difficult. I'm not sure how. Last time i checked horses don't get washed away by rain, and it'd have to be super windy to blow one over.

Solution: this either needs to be a race or crufts for horses. At the moment it's a weird mix of both.

Rhytmic Gymnastics -
This is incredibly impressive to watch. Not only for the throwing and catching of odd apparatus, but also for the mind bending outfits and flexibility of the gymnasts.

Like the diving though, I just don't get how one routine is better than another. One of the categories is "artistry", surely that's subjective? Maybe they just score the attractiveness of the competitor? Or maybe sequins per square inch on the outfit?

Solution: Flashdance.

Well there you go Rio. I expect things to change.

Want to write for this blog? You can do so here.



  1. I figured diving out after a while - basically, the bigger the splash the worse the score. After establishing that I became an expert and score prediction. The only other reason to watch it though is to see someone smash their head on the diving board

  2. Fencing.

    Although you did not say this in the blog, I know you thought it too. Where were the twenty minute long contests, with slashes, parries, ripostes, counter-ripostes, finishing with some witty banter about 'shaving your mustache tip with my bade you cad, now die!!!'



Follow the man blog on Twitter

The Man Blog
on Google+

Online Marketing