From the left field

By Timmy Hancox


The Olympics are a bit like the appearance of Aslan in Narnia; everyone talks about it, it’s this massive show, and then it happens and it disappears. You hear nothing for another four years. Now all we are left with is to wonder what sports will come and go as the Olympic committee meet in a congregation of great minds and greater wallets. 

Already basketball and softball have been struck from the London 2012 bill – and good riddance to those silly Yankee endeavours! These lame cricket mutations, another poorly disguised American attempt at more gold medals, are both fighting for the two openings in the 2016 Olympics that are yet to be allocated. Golf, rugby, squash, karate and roller sports are also campaigning for a spot. What on earth are roller sports? That’s a little vague… could be anything from idiots jumping off buildings with little wheels under their shoes to Frenchmen rolling wheels of cheese down a hill somewhere.

There have been some peculiar sports in previous Olympics, such as underwater swimming, where competitors would receive two points for every metre swum and one point for every second under the water. There was also an obstacle course swim that involved either climbing over boats or swimming under them in a nearby river. In the Winter Olympics there are also some bizarre events such as curling and luge. I mean the luge is on the bobsled track, but there is no sled…its just Bob! Anybody can slide down an ice shaft on a tea tray, we just don’t all choose to do it professionally.

If gymnastic floor exercises for men are an Olympics sport then we might as well add sandcastle building, unicycle racing and organised vomiting. They could even combine them into a strategic triathlon. However, if they do add sevens rugby or twenty20 cricket then perhaps team South Africa could come home with more than a measly solitary silver medal. Golf, I believe could be an enormous success as a match-play team event. Trevor Immelman, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen could make up a first-class team.

The three worst former Olympic sports must be 1) Long jump for horses 1900: This is rather odd as the jockey gets the medal while the horse does all the work. 2) Pistol duelling 1906: Before you ask, no the silver and bronze did not receive their medals posthumously, instead the competitors shot at dummies dressed in frocks with bulls eyes on their chests. 3) Solo synchronised swimming 1984-1992: One lonely person floating in a pool can, and will never be, in sync with anyone else. The claim was that it is the choreography in time to the music, while doing the pointless treading of water and smiling like someone from the special school, but that is a load of bullocks.

As crazy as they were, the ancient Greeks gave the world something wonderful in the Olympics. They competed naked and now the whole world celebrates their revolutionary idea.

Cheers to that.


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