Is this really a sport?
September 23, 2000 8:09 PM   Subscribe

Is this really a sport? Anyone remember those McDonalds commercials showing "Future...Olympian's in a given sport" when the baby's were performing similar routines? Little do your parents know. They would tell you to stop jumping around on the furniture. Now just tell them you are looking to be the next Olympic champion.
posted by brent (29 comments total)
 
MY IDEA: A 'break the egg' event. You've all played as a kid. Its a tournament style contest (as opposed to judge scoring). Each team has a desinated EGG, and three or so, COOKS. The cooks have to break the other times EGG, and vice versa. The best time wins.
posted by howa2396 at 8:23 PM on September 23, 2000


Well, maybe it would be embaresing to admit it but I really liked trampolining. It was, at least, fun and I'd say it's at least as much of a sport as anything else. And aren't all sports stupid anyway? I made up a list of 88 entirely ficticious sports (i will spare you the URL) that were all only marginally more stupid than, say, seeing who can run 100m faster than someone else or seeing who can run a similar distance with stuff in their way.
posted by davidgentle at 8:48 PM on September 23, 2000


Trampoline, and the included mid-air flipping and spinning are far more athletic than rhythmic gymnastics, which generally means young girls dancing with ribbon sticks and big bouncy balls.

I do have qualms about synchronised diving though -- not because it isn't an exceptional show of skill, but because it's just so stupid looking.
posted by Dreama at 10:36 PM on September 23, 2000


boo brent. Why is diving, where one jumps into the air, does some flips, and lands in water, more sport than trampoline - where they have to actually land on their feet?

I used to love trampoline when I was a kid too, david :)
posted by Ms Snit at 10:44 PM on September 23, 2000


The Olympics has a bit of a timebomb built into its rules: Each successive Olympics gets to have one new event added to it, that event getting chosen by the host city. It's permanent; it will appear in every Olympics thereafter, and they're beginning to accumulate.

Some of the more ludicrous events in the Olympics have been added because of this rule, such as rhythmic gymnastics, or synchronized swimming.

But they went completely over the edge with table-tennis (ping-pong) and badminton.

And mountain biking strikes me as a rather odd Olympic event, too.

posted by Steven Den Beste at 10:44 PM on September 23, 2000


Synchronised swimming and badminton are athletic. Synch swimming requires not only swimming ability but excellent physical conditioning, lung capacity and coordination. Badminton may not require the strength of tennis but it certainly requires just as much by way of strategy.

I'd imagine that mountain biking is either built around endurance, like various cross country ski events, or around trickery, like ski jump or other funky extreme sports. Either way I can support its inclusion.

But rhythmic gymnastics and ping-pong? Next we'll have to include golf.
posted by Dreama at 10:56 PM on September 23, 2000


Lets face it kids. As I said above all sports are equally stupid. If we can all agree on that then there will be no more arguments.
But British football is better than american football.
posted by davidgentle at 11:11 PM on September 23, 2000


Table Tennis and Badminton were established sports even before being added to the Olympics. I do not think synchronised swimming was a legitimate "sport" before it was added to Olympics. How far does the synchronised diving go back in history? I think the triatholon should stay as an Olympic sport. I heard rumors that it was allowed this time on a trial basis.
posted by tamim at 11:18 PM on September 23, 2000


Silly people, don't you know if Americans don't like it it's not a real sport?
posted by alan at 11:18 PM on September 23, 2000


You guys can rationalize them till the cows come home, in the end anything can be "sport" even a shrimp eating contest or how long one can endure watching the Olympics on TV. I'm thankfully very bad at both.


posted by skallas at 11:40 PM on September 23, 2000


davidgentle - couldn't let you get away with that. namby pamby little guys who welp and scream when they're hit, vs. modern giants who collide again and again? no contest. Plus a score is SEVEN points, and we hardly EVER have ties. Ties are evil....
posted by owillis at 11:41 PM on September 23, 2000


I do think Olympic bloat is becoming a major problem. On the other hand, American television only pays attention to gymnastics and swimming, so who cares? We don't have to see it!

I think the idea of the Olympics gets diluted when you have all these different ways of combining endurance/strength/agility/ and so on. The original Olympic sports had a kind of purity about them: THIS one was about running the fastest, THIS one was about jumping the highest, etc.
posted by dhartung at 11:42 PM on September 23, 2000


You guys can rationalize them till the cows come home, in the end anything can be "sport" even a shrimp eating contest or how long one can endure watching the Olympics on TV. I'm thankfully very bad at both.


posted by skallas at 11:42 PM on September 23, 2000


Personally, I'm waiting for them to make hackey-sack an olympic sport... Then maybe it'd be worth enduring the commentary...
posted by Bane at 12:09 AM on September 24, 2000


Yes, Triathlon is in this Olympics. This one scares me; we might see deaths.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 12:27 AM on September 24, 2000


If Nike threw its promotional budget behind it, in the way it supports, say, "golf", people would be trampolining. For fuck's sake, these people get precisely no coverage for 206 weeks of training and competing, so don't begrudge them their two weeks of glory.

Anyway, arise Sir Steven Redgrave. Did NBC mention that he's been winning gold medals since 1984?
posted by holgate at 12:38 AM on September 24, 2000


Steven: "Yes, Triathlon is in this Olympics. This one scares me; we might see deaths."

We should modify triathlon and add some fencing to make it the ultimate urban survival sports.

I am always amazed at the atheletes who run in triathlons. It takes a lot of stamina, muscle control and mental strength to run these. Any of these triathletes can beat up those wussy basket ballers if they found them alone in a dark alley.

posted by tamim at 1:06 AM on September 24, 2000


We should modify triathlon and add some fencing to make it the ultimate urban survival sports

Uh..its called the Modern Pentathlon and its already an olympic sport.
posted by dangerman at 5:04 AM on September 24, 2000


Thanks dangerman. It seems Modern Pentathlon also includes shooting and has been an Olympic sport since 1912. This is so neat.
posted by tamim at 10:46 AM on September 24, 2000


Events in the Modern Pentathlon:
Shooting
Fencing
Swimming (200M freestyle)
Riding (horse)
Running (1000M cross country)

posted by Steven Den Beste at 10:47 AM on September 24, 2000


If I remember, the winter Olympics have even more "silly" sports, like the one where a disk is flung onto the ice and two guys with brooms run in front of it sweeping the ice to get the disk to travel the farthest. It's easy to make fun of them, hard to try to do it yourself.
posted by thirdball at 12:57 PM on September 24, 2000


It's called "curling". And..uh I don't actually like football. Or sports in general. Other than F1 racing. Which is a little bit unlikely ever to be an olympic sport.
posted by davidgentle at 2:50 PM on September 24, 2000


They can race F3000 cars in an Olympic. Most F3000 (or equivalent) series drivers are young and still "starting out." Maybe it can be like Skip-Barber-Dodge series where all chasis and engines (I think the tires are also same) are the same for all cars.

But is auto racing even a "sport?"
Isn't there a debate if race car drivers are even "atheletes?"

I still stick by triathlon and modern heptathlon. Maybe we can add "road rage" segment to modern heptathlon and make it truly the ultimate urban survival sport! (The fencing and shooting part will be immidiately following the car driving through traffic jam event.)
posted by tamim at 9:19 PM on September 24, 2000


I used to go with a guy who competed on the trampoline... he was one of the top in England at the time. When he told me what he did for sport, I thought, "wow, that's reallllllllly dumb" -- until I saw it. It sure takes more skill and athletic grace than shot putting. Not that there's anything wrong with throwing rocks.
posted by mimi at 7:04 AM on September 25, 2000


Tamin: if you start from my assumption that "all sport is stupid" then yes F1 is a sport. It's only when you try and qualify something as serious that various sports start to look less reasonable.
posted by davidgentle at 2:50 PM on September 25, 2000


New olympic sports:
* Underwater breath hold
* Pogo stick jumping
* Team quadrathlon: three-legged race, hula-hoop endurance contest, 100m unicycling, seesaw launch (scored by distance travelled)
* Duck feeding

I believe the Olympic rules prohibit sports in which mechanical devices are used for propulsion, so F1 is out.

Did they already add rock climbing, or am I imagining things?

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 4:53 PM on September 25, 2000


Hey - good point - why isn't unicycling an olympic sport yet? Unicycling requires a lot of skill, than, say, (insert some lame sport here). They can even make two different medal events out of unicycling - a race and an acrobatic event.
posted by tamim at 5:23 PM on September 25, 2000


Um...remember how i said early on that I had constructed a list of 88 potential olympic sports? Well here's the link. I was a bit wary of doing it before but I think this debate has got to a point where it might be okay. Caution: some of the events are a little...perverse.
posted by davidgentle at 5:39 PM on September 25, 2000


Mars, one of the sports this time is Mountain Biking, which obviously involves a device. It does not, however, contain a power source.

Actually, bicycling has been an Olympic event for a long time, both road and track. Actually, velodrome racing is really quite exciting. The one-on-one races are particularly interesting because they're as much strategy as they are athletics. For a large portion of the race, they go extremely slowly.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 6:27 PM on September 25, 2000


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