Weird Olympic Events

Like most Americans, I love watching the Olympics, because I am not a communist. Scott and I turn on NBC every day after work. There’s my favorites: swimming, track & field, gymnastics, diving, beach volleyball, etc., but every now and then when handball or trampoline or modern pentathlon comes on, I’m like “WTF? How is this a thing and why is it an Olympic sport?” And then on the other end of the spectrum you have sports like baseball, which is played all across the world, that are not in the Olympics for some reason.

I started thinking about who makes these decisions and why. I found it helpful to picture myself in whatever board room full of international sport executives and imagine their reasoning as to why the Olympics are the way they are:

151144519420km and 50km Race Walk: “Well, we have events for running. But what about people who are sorta good at running but are really good at almost running?”

“Yes! Finally, the world will know who is the best at not-running!”

*the Committee erupts into cheers*

Steeplechase: “Let’s have them run around the track a buncha times. And sometimes, there’s a giant hurdle, and they hafta go over it and sometimes there’s water at the bottom.”

“…Why water?”

“I dunno, it would just be cool. They’d get all wet.”

*everyone murmurs in agreement*

Discus, Hammer, and Javelin Throw: “I think we should have an event where people throw things.”

“Just one thing? I think we could do better.”

“What about…three different things? One skinny thing, one round thing, and one heavy thing? We could call it: ‘How Far Can People Throw Things?'”

“Nah, let’s split it into three different events so we can get higher ratings.”

Olympics+Day+2+Canoe+Slalom+EJe1tvsehnplCanoe Slalom: “What is a slalom?”

“Nobody knows.”

“I just like the way it sounds. Let’s make it a thing.”

Cycling BMX: “Guys, I feel like we don’t have any events for the Douchebag populations across the world. We need to address this.”

*everyone nods righteously*

Equestrian: “I just had a GREAT IDEA: The Olympics, but for horses!”

“Well…why don’t we just have white people ride the horses and then take credit for all the work they do?”

“That is what white people do best, after all.”


gymnastics14_1720458iRhythmic Gymnastics: “What if we had gymnastics, but there were props involved?”

“Like what sort of props?”

“I dunno…like, a ball? A ribbon? Batons?”

“Wow, Carrot Top is gonna DOMINATE this event.”

Handball: “What if we had a sport that was basically soccer, but the exact opposite?”

American delegate: “TELL ME MORE!”

17vcpg0ot0y65jpgModern Pentathlon: “This tradition is not stupid at all. We should continue doing it.”

“Wouldn’t it make more sense to have separate events for pistol shooting, fencing, swimming, horse riding, and running? Why do we need an event that combines all five of them?”

*the former delegate pulls out a pistol and shoots the latter delegate in the chest*

“Any other objections?”

*everyone shakes their heads furiously*

Trampoline: “So, our other ‘Suburban Backyard Sports’ events haven’t tested so well: Croquet, Slip ‘n’ Slide, Synchronized Swingsets, and Rolly Polly Catching were all flops. Trampoline is the only possibility at this point.”

“Ugh. I was really hoping Olympic Slip ‘n’ Slide would become a thing.”


Note: If you are an Olympic athlete competing in any of these events, please, please, do not beat me up.


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