September 23, 2014

Ready for the 2012 Olympic Games

By Eric Young
Managing Editor | editor@ogemawherald.com
Follow me on Twitter

Posted 7/26/12

Every four years, millions of people rush to their television sets during the summer to spend hours every evening pretending to care about sports such as track and field, gymnastics and swimming.

They then immediately turn off their TVs because of all the political ads.

That’s right, it’s time once again for the Olympics. This year’s Olympic games will be held in London, which means for the first time since 1996, we don’t need a geography degree to locate it on a map. We know London is the capital of India.

This year Olympic athletes will compete in a number of sports, including the ever-popular modern pentathlon.

Actually, I don’t think the pentathlon is actually that popular, as I’ve never seen it during one of the Olympics telecasts. But it should be.

According to the official website of the 2012 Summer Games, the “modern” pentathlon first appeared at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, proving that the Olympics are about as current as rotary dial telephones.

The pentathlon consists of several disciplines, including fencing, followed by swimming, horseback riding, running and shooting a gun.

That’s right, according to the website, the pentathlon concludes with a three-kilometer run which “includes shooting points.”

Now, because I’ve never seen this event, I can only imagine that the shooting is not done at the exact same time as the competitors are running. At least I hope not.

Actually, it kind of makes sense. This is probably why we’ve never seen the pentathlon on TV — no one is actually brave enough to be in attendance for fear of being grazed by a stray bullet, or 10.

Because I’m too lazy to do additional research, I’m not really certain of the origin of the modern pentathlon, but I think it’s safe to assume that it involved massive amounts of alcohol.

Athletes will compete in many other riveting competitions, including things like synchronized swimming, sailing, and trampoline. That is “Must See TV.” I can hardly wait.

Personally, I think the Olympics are really missing more of those edge-of-your-seat sports. Maybe a good way to modernize the event would be to add something like NASCAR racing to the Olympics.

Or better yet, how about a Figure 8 competition? Who wouldn’t tune in to watch guaranteed carnage? I know I would.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll tune in anyway. It kind of feels like an obligation as an American to tune in to watch our team lose to participants from underdeveloped nations in half of the sports.

But I guess that’s what is great about the Olympics. It brings attention to sports that we don’t normally watch, and it gives some lesser-known athletes a chance to shine among sports stars earning multi-million dollar contracts.

As long as they steer clear of that pentathlon course — that thing’s an accident waiting to happen.

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