Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Torino Subjective Games 2006

Ah, the Winter Olympics are upon us once again, which once again fuels the fires of my neverending crusade to do away with subjectively-scored "sporting" events in the Olympics.

Here's just a few of the reasons why subjectively-scored Olympic sports suck:

1. They suck because they invite bribery and event fixing. Salt Lake City, 2002. Nagano, 1998.

2. They suck because they invite bias and national favoritism. Athens, 2004.

3. They suck because they include figure skating and gymnastics.


Pete Hamill of the New York Daily News sums it up nicely here.

...the Winter Olympics are filled with events that have nothing to do with sports. How is figure skating a sport? To me, it's dancing with skates on, a skill but not a sport. Like all other professional dancers, the dancers-on-skates endure long months of rehearsal. Music is essential to the act, so the musical choices are made with care. They emphasize "beauty" in its 19th century form, with long lines of melody to support those long gliding movements by the beskated dancers. Points are awarded on mysterious subjective grounds, all based on aesthetics, not true competition. They don't really compete against one another, because all choose different music. They are competing with Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn.

Switching over to Summer Olympics mode for just a second, some of you might be thinking, "Well, boxing is a pretty cool Olympic sport that is subjectively scored!"

Do you recall this, by any chance? Do you recall a boxer named Roy Jones, Jr. (Seoul 1988)? How about one named Evander Holyfield (Los Angeles, 1984)?

Here are a few suggestions to improve the Olympic Games:

1. Figure Skating: Scrap the music. Scrap the aesthetic element. Have all skaters compete in specific, individual skill events. For instance, first is the Triple Loop event. Anyone who falls or cannot complete the jump is eliminated. Continue from there, with increasingly difficult jumps and maneuvers, and the last person standing wins. Scrap the skating in pairs crap, because after all, it's just ice dancing.

2. Gymnastics: Same idea as figure skating. No "routines." Specific, individual events. Can't do one? You fall down? See ya in 4 years.

3. Boxing: This one's easy. Scrap the scoring. It's either win by KO or TKO. That's it.

4. Diving. Similar to #1 and #2. Don't allow the divers to select their own dives; give each one a specific one to do that all must do in a given round. That'll eliminate the stupid "degree of difficulty" crap. Place floating rings in the water that the divers must go through. If they don't go through cleanly, they are out.

5. And finally, if any of the above methods prove nonfeasible without some degree of subjectivity entering into the scoring, ELIMINATE IT as an Olympic sport.


Hey, criticize badminton, ping-pong and curling all you want to as Olympic sports -- but they're A-OK in my book. Player-determined scoring, you say? I say thumbs-up.

1 Comments:

Blogger DiaGnostic said...

I like figure skating actually, it is a nice change from the hockey fights.

9:56 AM  

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