I’m pretty sure you must have been watching the Olympics. I have, which is why I haven’t blogging quite as much as usual. I’m an enthusiastic swimmer (I swam competitively until I was 37) so I’ve been riveted to the swimming finals every night. But I’ve also been watching judo, cycling, track cycling, gymnastics and diving when the opportunity presents itself.
It has to be said that some sports are rather peculiar. My top five in this league, which is highly subjective of course, would have to be clay pigeon shooting, Greco-Roman wrestling (see photo), dressage, fencing and synchronised swimming. I’m not saying they don’t deserve to be included. I’m just saying they’re all slightly bizarre! The wrestling goes back to the early Olympic times, but all the others – how did they get selected, and why? You can’t help thinking a warped sense of humour was involved in some of them!
Demonstration sports are included in the olympics from time to time. These are effectively try-outs of new ideas to include in the future. The year 1900 was full of possibilities. No fewer than five were tried out – longue paume, ballooning, boules, surf lifesaving and motorsports were featured. With the exception of motorsports, I’d have thought all the others were perfectly respectable Olympic sports, given that we get the ones I’ve already listed as being slightly weird and wonderful.
If they prove popular enough then these demonstration sports become mainstream ones. And of course, to counterbalance the new arrivals, some sports get dropped. Did you know that the tug of war, polo, croquet and lacrosse have been Olympic sports in the past? Give me the tug of war over table tennis any day.
However, peculiar as some of the sports may be, the Olympics is a truly amazing event featuring incredible athletes. Brilliant.
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