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The earliest Olympics, held around 800 B.C., had one event, a foot race in the nude of about 200 yards.
Starting about 500 B.C., other trials began appearing: running while weighed down by armor, boxing, wrestling, long jump, javelin and discus throw, etc. So it went for nearly 12 centuries when the Roman emperor Theodosius I, a Christian, abolished the games in 393 A.D. because of their pagan influences.
Fast-forward 15 more centuries and the games were revived in 1896 with 42 events including pole vaulting, shot put, weight lifting, cycling, target shooting, tennis, gymnastics and swimming. Now, 100 years later, there are more than 300 summer events and 86 more in the winter.
Among the recently added are some rather arcane sports: synchronized diving and curling are two that come to mind. When was the last time you took to the pool with a pal to execute a four-and-a-half somersault in a tuck position from a 3-meter high spring board as a Chinese duo performed for gold in this year’s Olympics? On the other hand, I really appreciate curling because it keeps alive the hopes of old fat guys like me who fantasize about getting the gold and hanging it over the old fuel tank for a love machine, aka beer belly.
With that said, I’d like to offer some new events and possible sponsors for the International Olympic Committee to consider.
Sample food eating sprint, sponsored by Chik-fil-A: Athletes race to get free samples. Entrants compete in pairs, defined by the Bible as one man and one woman.
Ammo-loading, sponsored by the NRA: Contestants vie to load a 100-round magazine.
Second amendment shooting, sponsored by the TEA Party: Participants stand on one foot atop a copy of the U.S. Constitution which is placed on shaky ground while plinking away at targets.
Hoop jumping to vote, sponsored by the Republican National Committee: Casting chad-free ballots scores points. The poor and minorities are encouraged to participate, two forms of identification needed.
Oil spilling, sponsored by BP: Points awarded for total gallons spilled, shoreline befouled and animals killed.
Holier than thou-ness, sponsored by the Catholic Church: Participants vie to impose personal beliefs on others?
Pyramid scheme building, sponsored by investment brokers: A race to dupe the foolish to buy into a non-sustainable business model. Bonus points awarded for taking someone’s last dollar.
Political fundraising: sponsored by both the Republican and Democratic committees: A money raising marathon, each million dollars raised is worth one-10th of a point.
Smuggle racing, sponsored by Columbia: Cigarette boats vie to carry the most contraband during a set period of time.
Non sequitur gymnastics, sponsored by Rush Limbaugh: Entrants are scored on how well they can contort the truth.
Foot in mouth races, sponsored by Mitt Romney: The goal is to anger as many countries as possible while dressed as a statesman.
Kick the can, sponsored by Penn State: Athletes compete to see who can kick a can down a road the farthest.
Got to go, women’s synchronized swimming is on television. If only athletes were in the nude.