Monday, August 11, 2008

Improving the Olympics

I've been watching the Olympics, and have come up with a few ways they can be improved.

1. In beach volleyball, the tall players have an advantage. Thus, I recommend that springboards be installed in the area of the net to aid the shorter players in spiking and blocking.

2. In the men's high bar, the athletes are lifted to the bar by a guy. This is humiliating. I suggest that it would be more spectacular if they had to pole vault over the high bar and then grab it on the way down, smoothly beginning their routine as they do.

3. No one ever sticks the landing on the gymnastics vault, as they have too much horizontal momentum. Thus, instead of landing on mats they should land on one of those small trampolines--the kind mascots use to dunk basketballs at halftime. This would allow them to spring upward, creating vertical momentum and allowing them to land without stepping or hopping.

4. The men's pommel horse tends to be extremely dull, despite the great skill involved, because they just go around and around. I propose that the routine be performed on an actual horse as it gallops around the arena.

5. The swimsuits of the synchronized divers are identical; they should be mirror images, with the design of one on the opposite side as the design of the other, so it looks like one diver is a mirror image of the other. Also, the divers should have to be twins. Actually, it's too easy to synchronize with one other diver. The event should involve eight divers going simultaneously, preferably octuplets.

6. No one actually swims the butterfly, so why is it an event? It should be replaced with the dog paddle. That may sound ridiculous, but it's no more ridiculous than race walking. I mean really, walking? In real life, if you're in a hurry, no matter how fast you can walk you'll be left in the dust of people who have enough sense to run.

7. There's no way of knowing who wins a point in fencing unless you just watch the electronic light come on. The only way the actual fencing will ever be worth watching is if they use real swords and fight to the death.

8. There should be a coxswain in every scull, even the singles, and the coxswains should all be equipped with those huge drums like in Ben Hur, to help the rowers get the rhythm.

9. Water polo would be much more exciting if the participants were in those bumper boats, like they have at the state fair. I can't believe no one else has thought of that one.

10. I don't think it's right that they have cameras in the ladies' showers at the diving venue. One of these days someone's gonna do her last dive and absent-mindedly take off her suit before showering.

Those suggestions were based on the events they've shown so far. I'll probably have more as the Games progress.


Chris Eldin said...

OMG!! I'm actually laughing hysterically, all by myself in an empty house.
Love the horse galloping around the arena idea! And the trampoline. Those are quite good.

Kiersten White said...

Oh, this was a great post, EE.

Watching synchronized diving, I thought it would be more interesting if it were opposite diving. So, while one jumps off the board, flips, and lands in the water, the other is shot out of the water, flips, and lands on the diving board.

But perhaps the mechanics would be difficult to figure out. I would accept showing their dives in normal-speed rewind as a substitute.

And how great was the men's 400 relay last night?

WouldBe said...

I'm not physically an ideal candidate for the Olympic team, so I choose my events carefully:

Gold medal: underwater hammer throw. Winning distance: 1.3 feet. Sounds easy but the danger is the hammer landing on your foot; not recommended for people with feet longer than a foot.

Silver medal: solo synchronized swimming. I've contested the result since I was the only contestant.

Gold medal: double marathon hurdles (26 miles with a hurdle every five feet.) I was the only contestant. My world-record time: 2.6 years.

--Bill H. (USA! USA! USA!)

Cathy in AK said...

Number 7 adds quite a bit of motivation to defending your title.

They have cameras in the ladies' showers??? What about the mens'? OK, either way, why do we need to see divers showering at all?

And in the vein, how come the women beach volleyball players wear sports bra/shorty-shorts uniforms but the men I've seen are in tee shirts and baggy shorts? (Though I have seen them without shirts as well, which wasn't a bad thing.) If the women must wear snug uniforms, so should the men.

Dave Fragments said...

They have a strange version of Handball played by teams... I suggest that rather than the little ball they use, they replace it with a 3 foot diameter beach ball.

And I'd replace Water Polo with Underwater Rugby where the ball is neutrally buoyant and all moves must occur underwater. BTW - this is a real sport and I think it must be more exciting than Water Polo which always seems to me to be muscular swimmers playing splash in the water. Except when they yank each others trunks off which little kids too on occasion.

As for gymnastics,
I want a mens rhythmic ribbon dancing.
I want Women's Olympic Fan Dancing.
I want to see women on the parallel bars (quit giggling, they have bras, yanno).

How about changing those skimpy beach volleyball bikinis on women for big, baggy shorts and tops like the guys wear in basketball and dressing the B-Ball players in Speedos.

I think they should have a womens clean and jerk.

How about Skeet shooting with barbie and Ken dolls.

Or maybe Bow and Arrow using mannequins and apples for targets. Kind like the St Valentine's Apple shoot.

Elissa M said...

Yeah, speedos for mens volleyball. Why should they be limited to the divers and swimmers? In fact, let's put all the male athletes in speedos. Except the equestrians- that would be cruel.

Dave Fragments said...

How about THE WET TEA BAG TOSS with teams dressed in white linen uniforms. (It's more exciting than cricketm they say).

Or as I keep seeing pictures of George W Bush's hands on the nearly bare buttocks of the girls volleyball teams... DOM Butt Fondling as an Olympic sport.

When GWB joined the Basketball huddle, LeBron Williams said "Whatssup Pops!" Stand up and cheer that young man.

Or memorialize the "FRENCH TRASH TALK" team for losers. Their medal could be inscribed with a 2004 BBall.

Dave Fragments said...

Ping Pong with sticky buns, raw eggs, and Gummi Bears.

Dave Fragments said...

Ooops, I meant LeBron James, not what I said above.

talpianna said...

Elissa said: In fact, let's put all the male athletes in speedos. Except the equestrians- that would be cruel.

OK, OK, I'll allow that. But the horses still have to wear them, right?

Whatever happened to my favorite event, Olympic Hide and Seek?

And if one synchronized swimmer drowns, do they all have to?

Dave Fragments said...

And if one synchronized swimmer drowns, do they all have to?
No but you should see how they gargle each morning - a true sight to be seen.

Elissa M said...


Oh, no. The horses are butt-nekkid. Like some of the water polo players. Which sort of makes me wonder, how do they play polo without horses?

WouldBe said...

And if one synchronized swimmer drowns, do they all have to?

I'm not sure about synchronized swimming,Tal, but it is true of my event, solo synchronized swimming.

writtenwyrdd said...

"it's too easy to synchronize with one other diver. The event should involve eight divers going simultaneously, preferably octuplets"

Erm, EE...Hate to point it out, but I used to do this in high school. It's called synchronized swimming. At least it is when you launch off the side into the pool...

What I'd really like to see are a few more of the people that are the Cool Running material, the ones who actually suck, or at least aren't in the top 20. They are the people that are interesting. Or at least we can laugh in armchair hilarity at the crashing and burning. (Not nice, I know, but those of you who recall the Agony of Defeat guy flipping off the ski jump know what I mean.)

Robin S. said...

These were good - especially the trampoline idea. I always feel so sorry for the people who do everything so well and then, blam, they scoot a foot around at the end.

Whirlochre said...

Just what I need first thing in the morning — a belly laugh on an empty stomach.

I'd like to see some synchronised running, preferably with all the competitors on drugs.

Also, the marathon walkers should wear tutus with bells and tassles and be required to throw out a leg vaudevill-style every hundred paces.

Table tennis? They need to play it slower so we can all see what's happening.

Equestrian events? I still can't watch these without checking to see if the horses are in fact Princess Anne.

But my fave Olympic event has to be the weight lifting. As it stands, it's an absurd and ludicrous spectacle. Wobbly men with cheeks like Harry James trying not to split their difference! Maybe the Chinese are saving up something special for the finals this year — like a miniature trapdoor directly below the lowest point of the lifter's gusset which opens up at the precise moment of the jerk to reveal a black belt karate master's hand deftly waving a feather duster.

talpianna said...

Elissa: Obviously you are not a member of S.I.N.A.

Robin S. said...

My morning laugh- Whirl seeing the horses as Princess Anne.

What a picture for me. Thanks, I needed that one, back at work today and culling through 213 emails. Good Lord.

Anonymous said...

Excellent suggestions all, EE! Also think the water-poloists should wear hats with lit sparklers on them.


Elissa M said...


That bit about S.I.N.A. is hilarious! Did you notice that one of the ladies in the talk show photo looks like she hasn't got a skirt?

Bikinis on horses and cows! Their mammary glands aren't even in the right place for that! Too funny.

Dave Fragments said...

Very odd sports...

Once when I was being chaperon to HS kids at Disney, another counselor and I turned on HBO late and saw a few minutes of the "European Enema Contest" where participants were given enemas, dressed in white body suits and then watched for several hours. Last contestant to a brownout won. I saw only a few minutes because it wasn't worth not sleeping to see the final, what should I say, spectacle.

This contest was singularly destructive of any culture in its conception and just emotionally eviscerating in execution.

Anonymous said...

dave, I can't wait for Buffy to respond to the enema post.

talpianna said...

Incidentally, EE, I think that your suggestion #4 was a staple of the performances at Astley's Amphitheatre in Regency London.


I tried out for the solo synchronized swimming team, but I simply was not sufficiently synchronized.

Robin S. said...

I stayed up (yeah, I'm a wuss, I go to bed early a lot) to watch Michael Phelps win his 10th medal.

And true to (my own) form, I was feeling all good and warm and fuzzy watching American him, and glad I stayed awake for it, and proud for his mom as well, seeing her filmed in the stands, and then I thought,
Damn, those are some fine, fine shoulders, boy...

Anyway. Watching the Olympics is fun.

WouldBe said...

--Move wrestling to the balance beam.

--Make archery an indoor sport

--Need a dueling event, classical and Old West. (Would only need one medal, gold, and sometimes not even that one.)

--Lumberjacks vs professional wrestlers cage match.

--track and field with land mines

talpianna said...

Elissa, you haven't seen me in MY quadkini!