Thinking Strange Thoughts - Boring Sports

I know there are a lot of people who love the Olympic Games but I must admit I find them a bit boring. Of course it is always amusing if the wheel falls off someone’s bike, or if a pole vaulter trips over as he runs in, or my favourite, where an athlete has nearly completed the Marathon and he collapses just before the finishing line, but apart from these entertaining moments, it has to be said that there are far too many boring events.

Now the competition for Most Boring Event is very close, but my vote goes to that stupid cycling race, where competitors pedal around the track so slowly that they are nearly going backwards, every now and again they will almost come to a standstill, they just wobble about in the saddle, have a bit of a breather and then gently carry on. Sometimes you will see snails overtaking them. Then, just as the crowd are nodding off to sleep, its as if the cyclists suddenly wake up and realize that they are in a race, then we get about five seconds of actual racing to the finish line.

I would love to know who came up with this concept. “I have this great idea for a race, you get super fit athletes, put them on a $10,000 bike and make them go as slowly as they can around the track without falling off” What’s even stranger is that the organizers must have thought that I was a good idea .

It seems obvious to me that, if I was interested enough, I could easily win the gold medal in this event. I would just leap onto my trusty old mountain bike, and as soon as the race started I would pedal off as fast as my little legs could carry me, I would just be a blur hurtling around the track. Meanwhile my opponents would be dawdling along on their Super Bikes. Obviously, once they started to race properly, they would start to catch up a bit, but it would be far too late and I would be celebrating in the bar with the gold medal around my neck before they picked up a decent bit of speed.

Now coming a very close second in the Most Boring Event must be the Walking Race. This is where highly trained, super fit athletes go for a walk. Basically, they just stroll around, do a bit of sightseeing, and the one who happens to wander into the stadium first gets a gold medal. Now you would think that the judges would tell them to hurry along a bit, but no, in fact the judges tell them off if they break into a trot. The judges actively encourage laziness, they don’t mind you walking quickly but if you show a bit of initiative and break into a jog, you get disqualified. Now, what sort of race is this? I often walk to the pub but surely that does not make me an athlete. If you are going to have a Walking Race, then you may as well have a Reading a Good Book Race or a Sitting Down With A Cup Of Tea Watching The Grass Grow Race.

Apart from this boring stuff, there are also a lot of silly events coming into the Olympics that aren’t really sports at all. Stuff like ten pin bowling and ballroom dancing, flower arranging, that sort of thing. People even want to get Chess included. Now how can you possibly call Chess a sport, how often do you hear of someone going to the doctors and he says “Your 10 kilos overweight, I want you to take up Chess”. It just does not happen and the main reason is that you could play Chess for the next fifty years and only lose half a calorie.

In ancient times when the Olympics first started, there were just the three events, and they were; The Marathon, The Discus and the Fighting a Hungry Lion Armed Only With a Sausage event. Now I think it would be a damn good idea if we got back to this sort of thing. Also it would be good if we got back to the right spirit of the Games. When I was a young gymnast growing up in England, I was always taught that it was the taking part, that was important, not the winning. Mind you that could well account for why I never won anything.

Steve Ainley


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