The Olympics are here! The Olympics are here! Sports junkies around the globe can take a breath, sweat a brow, pop a cold one, and enjoy the games. I just wish there were more of them. Well, maybe not so much more of them as different ones of them.
Four years ago I pitched the idea of Olympic Bocce right here on these pages, err screens, umm electrons. (See “The Sport the Olympics Didn’t Think of,” August 30, 2012.) I thought it was a terrific new sport that would complement the old world-ism the Olympics have been missing ever since Beach Volleyball was introduced. (But then, beach volleyball is about as close as you can get to the ancient Olympic tradition of competing in the nude, wrestling notwithstanding.) Bottom line, another Olympics and still no bocce. We got Golf instead.
To many, golf is a wonderful game. Yet I don’t see many gods on Olympus arguing who’s “away” and I know for sure they wouldn’t abide someone else carrying the equipment around for the athletes. Still, somebody decided golf is more of a sport than bocce. Fine. I would think that any game that includes a pit stop for snacks and a pint of lager halfway through is more recreation than sport but then the same could be said for the aforementioned beach volleyball.
Actually, if you look at the modern Olympic schedule you see events more often associated with country clubs than sports arena. Sure we have swimming, track and field, and weightlifting. Archery, shooting, and the equestrian events harken to days of having to compete with nature for survival. Fencing, boxing, and gymnastics are examples of strength and grace in single presentations. But consider some of the others. Tennis? Handball? Badminton?
That got me thinking; it was no wonder the IOC didn’t care to include bocce. They obviously are interested in more genteel undertakings. So with that in mind I present this year’s proposal for inclusion in upcoming Olympiads – Shuffleboard!
It epitomizes civility. It doesn’t take much space. It is a boon for the older athlete. And like bocce, it has a natural winter game counterpoint in curling.
If I start practicing now I can be the first Olympic Shuffleboard Gold Medalist! I can see myself on that chair-lift assisted podium waving to the politely appreciative crowd. All I have to do is find a sponsor to book me on seniors’ cruises for training from now until August 2020. Tokyo here I come!
That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?