The Olympics unite the world through competition, a once every four years get together where we can celebrate athleticism, the human spirit and Apollo Anton Ohno endorsement deals. As fans, we get excited to watch people compete in events that we cannot see everyday, events that take us out of our mainstream cycle of sports. We also revel in the idea of being better than countries we know little to nothing about. It feels nice to snatch a gold medal in javelin from Latvia.
Most Olympic sports stem from the ancient Greek games, sports that derive from survival tactics: running, jumping and hunting. But we’re in modern times now. We have cars and cat memes, and it’s time we reevaluate a few of the sports, and include some that are suspiciously left off the list.
Should Be Sports
Softball was an Olympic sport in 1996, allowing some of the top female athletes in the world to compete at a very popular sport. There are few professional softball leagues around the world, and this allowed a showcase on the biggest stage. Softball was nixed from the 2012 and 2016 Olympic games, which is a shame, as it eliminated for an entire generation of girls the chance to play for their country.
This is a combination of “football is becoming internationally more and more popular” and “watching the United States play against other countries would be hilarious.” The U.S. is leaps and bounds ahead of other countries, which means we may be a ways off here.
Snowboarding is an Olympic sport. Skateboarding is essentially snowboarding on not-snow. People of all creed, color and gender rebel against the man by pop-shoving it on their four wheeled deck. The X-Games have become an international party, and these athletes should be allowed to risk concussion on the biggest stage. Plus, I’d like to drop the six or seven terms I remember from Tony Hawk on the Nintendo 64 in general conversation at some point.
Shouldn’t Be Sports
What sounds like a shady integration event from the 1960s in the United States is actually the laziest sport I’ve ever seen. It’s walking. Walking as quickly as you can from one place to another. I half expected the race to start at a JC Penny and end at the food court on the other side of the mall. The “race” lasts 31 miles, at the end of which all of its competitors race walk to their cars, drive home, and racewalk to their lonely, single bedroom apartments.
Racewalking is so ridiculous my spellcheck doesn’t even recognize it. Can something be an Olympic sport if a basic dictionary doesn’t even recognize it? No, clearly not.
This is the Olympics, not my public school physical ed. class. We can all afford racquets to hit the ball with; we don’t have to run around hitting the ball with our hands.
Ok hear me out on this one. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. So popular, in fact, that its major event, the World Cup, transcends the Olympics. No kid grows up wanting to represent his or her country in the Olympics. They want to hoist the Jules Rimet Trophy, winning the World Cup. Soccer doesn’t need another international competition. It has four or five that mean more to its followers than the Olympics.
I am all about gymnastics. It is one of the Olympic staples. The pommel horse, though, makes no sense. It is a bunch of privileged youth breakdancing three feet above the ground.
Kyle Ayers is a comedian and writer living in New York City. He has performed alongside anyone and everyone, such as Nick Thune, Dave Attell, Reggie Watts, Nick Vatterott, Nikki Glaser, Derrick Comedy (Mystery Team), Broken Lizard (Super Troopers), Tommy Johnagin and more. He has trained at iO and Second City in Chicago, in the improv-ing. He writes for KorkedBats.com and CBS because doing comedy for free doesn’t pay very well. He was in the feature film Box Elder, which showed all over the country, as well as a few other flicks. He runs a comedy show in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, called Game Night. He has starred in numerous sketches and been featured on the front page of FunnyOrDie.com. He specializes in short, concise sentences about his comedy career. You can follow him on Twitter @KyleAyers.
Kyle is an Olympics junkie who previously ran down The Least Athletic Athletes of All Time. –>