Thursday, 13 August 2009

Games, Sports, Wastes Of Time

So golf is being reinstated as an Olympic game. The top 15 players in the world will automatically qualify with a starting field of 60. So that'll be 15 Americans, and one each from 45 other countries...

Softball, squash, baseball, karate and roller sports have not been accepted. With the exception of squash, good. No one plays softball or baseball, and karate can be given the chop as far as I am concerned. Get rid of Taekwondo and Judo too while you're at it. Greco Roman wrestling? The Greeks and the Romans had their day in the sun hundreds of years ago. Why have an event for just two countries? Why not Sumo wrestling? Very popular in Japan I believe. They need to get out more. Just forget all wrestling. It's all a bit weird if you ask me. "Son, what sport would you like to be an Olympian at?" - "Well Dad, I like wrestling the boys during PE". Disturbing.

Roller sports? What the heck are they? Roller discos were the rage when I was a young man. Don't tell me it is now a sport. Points awarded for not spilling your beer as you circle the floor. Bonus points awarded for pulling hot birds while you're rolling.

Beach Volleyball? I can't possibly imagine how that one ever got included. Just cut the men's event out, and have some minimum attractiveness requirement. Artistic / rhythmic gymnastics? Synchronised swimming? At least solo synchronised swimming has been axed. It never made much of a splash. Diving can go - too subjective. I get board with it.

I can see the point of archery though. Including it was worth a shot. Some said no, but there was no bowing to pressure, and in the end the objectors were shafted and left a quivering wreck...

Other sports no longer competed for: Polo (current champions Argentina), Tug-of-War (Great Britain), Lacrosse (Canada), Real Tennis (USA), Roque (USA - the only nation to ever compete!), Pelota (unknown - only one match was played, and no one knows who won it!), Croquet (France - 9 French players and a Belgian) and our own cricket!

Actually, the cricket story is mildly interesting. From Wikipedia:

At the 1900 Summer Olympics, a cricket tournament was contested. Although four teams were originally expected to compete, Belgium and Holland (the Netherlands) pulled out of the competition, leaving a Great Britain side to play a France side. Neither team was nationally selected. The British side was a touring club team, Devon & Somerset Wanderers. The French team consisted of Britons living in Paris, reportedly mostly members of the British Embassy. By Captain's agreement the game was played as a 12-a-side game, unlike the usual 11 in most cricket matches.

The two-day game was played commencing on August 19, 1900. Great Britain batted first and scored 117. France were then bowled out for 78. Great Britain then scored 145 for 5 in their second innings, setting the hosts a target of 185, who were promptly bowled out for 26. This meant that Great Britain was convincingly the winner of the contest.

The Great Britain team was awarded silver medals and the French team bronze medals, together with miniature statues of the Eiffel Tower. The medals were later retroactively reassigned as gold and silver.

With the match billed as part of the 1900 Universal Exposition, neither side appears to have realised they were competing in the Olympics. The match was only retrospectively formally recognised as being an Olympic contest in 1912, when the International Olympic Committee met to compile the definitive list of all events in the five modern Olympiads up to that point.

Since then cricket has not appeared in an Olympic Games although there have been recent attempts to introduce Twenty20 Cricket into the games.

1 comment:

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