Monday, August 22, 2016


The Next Olympic Games


Rio 2016 emblem 

For many years, I have been a strong advocate for the Olympic Games. Great memories flash through my mind when I reflect on past Games. The Games became an important impetus for learning in my classroom. A wonderful activity used to study geography, sport, culture, and many other subjects.

I will continue to follow many Olympic activities, to my dying days. I will follow the careers of great athletes. But I have had it with the extravagance of the games, and the cost. And the politics, and the cheating, and the drug factor, and all of the other negatives about the Games.


Before they ever raised the Olympic flag, and uttered the Olympic oath, there were serious doubts raised about the Games. Water activities were to take place in cesspools, some Olympic fat cats were accused of lining their pockets. Russian athletes were banned from the Games. Nations threatened to pull out for political reasons. What else is new?

The Brazilian authorities managed to get to the closing ceremonies without terrible repercussions. Apparently, thievery was rampant. Drunken American athletes had to apologize for staging silly behaviour. Coaches in a circled-ring event went bonkers after a result was announced, and stripped to their jockey shorts, to protest the decision.

With all of that in mind, I have a few suggestions in mind to help with the next Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. You are welcome to disagree.

All activities involving horses and boats are eliminated. Can you imagine how much money governments would save with that suggestion? No more hay burners in the dressage ring.

All team events are no longer welcome: basketball, (always a joke), volleyball, handball, water polo, soccer, tennis…it is a long list. One exception, naturally---beach volleyball. I knew you’d agree. Team sports have their own individual world championships, and do not need the Olympics to highlight their sport.

Most judged events will be history, especially boxing, wrestling, taekwondo, judo, gymnastics, and synchronized swimming. There will be one diving event, off the tower, for men and women. Just for fun, the tower will be 30 metres high…no, make that fifty. Like the Mexican cliffs or the mountain at Canada’s Wonderland.


That will leave us very few events: Archery-hit the target, you win. Period; athletics, with lots of running, jumping, and hurling of various objects; swimming, with the elimination of several unnecessary races; pentathlon and triathlon, and the marathon, of course, to determine the best athletes in the world.

I have even contemplated events for the next Winter Olympic Games, and the same conditions apply: no team sports, (we don’t need the Olympics, we have the Stanley Cup). Include: alpine skiing, ski jumping, short track speed skating, (with body checking permitted). That’s it! I know you will miss the skeleton events.

Kudos to all the Olympic champions. Good luck to the International Olympic Committee as they begin to disassemble the Games, according to my specifications. 

April 22, 2016.

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