July 8, 2008

Future Olympic Events

The Olympics already include quite a few events, but there are other sports vying for acceptance at the Olympic level. Some are played as demonstrations at each Olympics to determine if they deserve promotion while others are officially recognized but not currently included. Here's a look at a few we think deserve some consideration.
When I think high-flying, I think korfball. Doesn't everyone?

A recognized sport similar to netball, korfball is a tactical co-ed sport in which they players must outsmart their opponents in order to throw the ball through the hoop. To my uneducated eyes, this is soccer, basketball, and ultimate frisbee combined. I'm just waiting for the green Double Dare goop to fall out of that basket onto them.
"What do we do now that it's stuck? I can't fly that high!"

Known as Bocce in the US and already a recognized sport, this is a very interesting case study. Played very much like curling and shuffleboard, the idea is to get your balls/stones as close to the target as possible, inside of your opponent's closest ball. However, is this really any different from golf (another recognized sport)? What about horseshoes? Isn't that just throwing objects at a target also? They would have to play Bocce on a really slick surface to make this competitive at a high level, but given a difficult enough course, this could be interesting. On the other hand there would finally be a summer sport other than soccer that the Italians would have a shot in.

A mix between karate and gymnastics, this recognized sport is popular in China and will have a competition at this year's Olympics, though the IOC has specifically stated it is not a demonstration event. Like figure skating there are cumpulsory and free-style events, both individually and in groups. There is spectacular choreographed sparring with weapons, including the staff, spear, sword, and fist. Just like any other "sport" with subjective scoring, I don't know if it belongs, but it might be cool to watch.

This looks like gymnastics until you notice they're holding swords.

Chess Boxing
Tired of hearing about players with great "sports IQs"? Always hate that the chess nerds weren't athletic? Tired of listening to another unintelligible athlete interview? This is the sport for you. The combination of an Olympic sport (boxing) and a recognized sport (chess), the contestants box and play chess through 11 alternating rounds. Brains and brawn are both required to master this ultimate challenge. I can't wait to see this. How many times have you heard a quote like this about chess: "I took a lot of body-blows in the fourth round and that affected my concentration. That's why I made a big mistake in the fifth round: I did not see him coming for my king.''
Checkmate is hard to avoid when groggy. Is that a left hook or a Latvian Gambit? (Photo: AFP)

How about Lennox Lewis vs. Vitali Klitschko in chess boxing? ESPN says it's not as far-fetched as you think.

Beer Pong
A mix between table tennis and kegstanding, this recognized sport (at all American universities, anyway) is quite popular. Not to be confused with spinoffs like beer die, the originality and popularity of beer pong should distinguish it to the IOC. Really it's the same concept as nordic biathlon, so I don't see why it wouldn't be accepted. Both involve making it hard to shoot straight (by either vigorous exercise or drinking) and a penalty if you miss and your opponent doesn't (more exercise or drinking).

While some of these sports may seem odd or outlandish, consider that racewalking is already an Olympic sport, and ballroom dancing has already been a demonstration sport. It's only a matter of time until some cool new sport sweeps the world and makes the Olympics. Here's to hoping it's chess boxing!

12 Responses:

Brien said...

You should mention that Beer Pong is called "Beirut" in the less enlightened parts of the country and that philistines sometimes play Beer Pong with paddles (which is totally unacceptable).

And what about Slamball as a potential Olympic sport?

KGoon1590 said...

I've seen the Maryland Wushu team, which is ranked 3rd in the nation, and they are phenominal: They have a lot of national team members that are actually going to Beijing.

The problem with Wushu as an Olympic sport is that it is judged subjectively - there is rarely combat involved, rather it is more of an art form. The judging would be difficult, given the different styles and techniques Wushu would encompass. It would probably be harder to objectify than gymnastics without having a million different events.

El Angelo said...

If Bocce becomes an Olympic sport, the trials should be held at Floyd's in Brooklyn.

Anonymous said...

Beer Pong without paddles is not beer pong. It's a bunch of faggots throwing a ball at cups, which is infinitely easier. You pussy-ass generation Y motherfuckers can play the shit out of some fucking Playstation, but waaaaah, beer pong is too hard for your hand-eye coordination so you made up that beirut bullshit. Beer pong with paddles: first. "Beirut" = not beer pong.

Nic said...

Lacrosse needs to become an Olympic sport.

Russell said...

I like lacrosse a lot, but it isn't even popular across our own country, much less the whole world.

J-Red said...

Anonymous: If your hands are large enough, beer pong with paddles IS easier than Beirut.

J-Red said...

Last thing on the Beer Pong/Beirut controversy. Beer Pong requires a good surface, whereas Beirut only requires something flat enough to keep a cup from tipping over.

Anonymous said...

Everybody knows the best college WuShu is in the Southeastern Conference. Get that ACC crap outta here!

J-Red said...

Are we going to have to settle this with some WuShu?

J-Red said...

(Or beer pong....)

Nic said...

Well most of the Olympics sports aren't popular in our country or even the rest of the world. Who actually watches triathons? Much less participates?

But in anycase I can see why it's not an Olympic sport yet. Though I think it kicks Curling out of the ballpark and then some in popular interest.

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