Here’s the deal. We’re only a few weeks away from the start of the 2012 London Olympic Games. The best athletes in the world will be running, jumping and swimming their way into our hearts and record books. But many are unaware of the fact that each year the Olympics offer a number of exhibition sports in addition to the more traditional fare. And wouldn’t you know that those silly Brits are bringing Muggle Quidditch to the Olympics.
First things first, you probably think that was a joke. It was not. It is a truth. Here’s the story if you don’t believe me. Second things second, as one of the fourteen people in the world who has neither read any of the Harry Potter books nor seen any of the Harry Potter films, I don’t know what Quidditch is.
Let’s see…according to my old pal, Wikipedia, it’s “an extremely rough but very popular semi-contact sport, played by wizards and witches around the world. Matches are played between two teams of seven players riding flying broomsticks, using four balls and six elevated ring-shaped goals three on each side of the Quidditch pitch.”
Is it just me, or does participating in this activity in the real world present a number of problems? The most obvious dilemma – “flying broomsticks.” A secondary issue – “wizards and witches.” And my greatest concern – this is freakin’ crazy.
But it’s gonna happen. Quidditch is an Olympic event. Those naked Greeks are probably rolling over in their graves. But it got me to thinking, if Quidditch made the cut, what sports were denied access to the games. So, for your Muggle pleasure, I offer…
The Top Ten Rejected Olympic Events
11. Two Meter Dash – Let’s face it, we live in a fast-paced world. Who has ten seconds to watch an entire 100 Meter race? I think the two meter dash would be the most exciting track and field event of all time and am saddened that it didn’t make the cut due to “a tremendous lack of interest.”
10. Hungry, Hungry Hippos – While a mighty rivalry has built over the years between Finland and Zimbabwe at the Hungry, Hungry Hippos National Championships, this thrilling sport still lacks international respect and has been repeatedly denied access to the games.
9. Jumping to Conclusions – The major impediment here is the lack of a universal rule book. Some countries measure their champions by the speed with which they jump to conclusions, others favor accuracy, and some still give points for creativity.
8. Celebrity Apprentice – This looked like it was going to happen, but Trump trumped the notion of an international panel of judges, declaring that he alone would award the Silver and Bronze medals (further complicating issues was the fact that he preemptively awarded himself the Gold). There is, however, some discussion of a possible Cash Cab event for Rio in 2016.
7. Scrapbooking – In a competitive setting, much more thrilling than you might expect. I’ve got my fingers crossed for the Winter Games.
6. Sitting in a Meadow on a Summer Afternoon and Contemplating the Meaning of Life – Strangely, no one can recall who proposed this in the first place. The main problem with implementing this as an official Olympic event is that it’s very difficult to determine a winner.
5. Calvinball – This one is my personal pet project. I say if J.K. Rowling can invent Olympic Events, why not Bill Watterson? For those unfamiliar with Calvin and Hobbes, Calvinball was a game invented by a comic strip boy and his tiger friend and involves a volleyball, badminton set, flags, masks, a hobby horse and time-fracture wickets. The only rule is that the game is never to be played twice with the same rules. And, as Calvin said, “Sooner or later, all our games turn into Calvinball.” This is great, as any time any Olympic event started to get boring, it could just morph into Calvinball. (I’m also lobbying for Fireball from Friends, Brockian Ultra-Cricket from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Flonkerton from The Office)
4. Javelin Catch – This nearly made it through. Each javelin thrower was paired with a catcher and we were all set to introduce a new sport…unfortunately, not a single catcher survived the trials.
3. Speed Dating – I’m a big fan of competitive speed dating. It simultaneously pushes athletes to their limits while fostering global relations. Sadly, your more socially awkward countries keep voting this down.
2. Red Rover – I really would love to see this played on an international level. “Red Rover, Red Rover, send the Czech Republic right over.”
1. Synchronized Swimming – This was rejected for many, many reasons. First of all…what? This wasn’t rejected?