How to Improve the Olympics
1. Create Competitive Paintballing
Which would you rather watch: languid synchronized swimming, or national teams simulating open warfare in a big field with automatic weapons?
Competitive paintball would be the ultimate Olympic sport, because most sports are really just sublimated warfare at root anyway. With paintball, it is warfare. Just simply non-lethal. Viewers would be far more engaged by the prospects of whether or not Austria could demolish North Korea in an orchestrated battle than whether or not Belarus wins at badminton this year. It speaks to every “kill the enemy” instinct in humanity, which is not far below the surface.
We could create two divisions: Napoleonic Paintball and Modern Commando. Napoleonic Paintball would involve single-shot paintball rifles, horses, and the employment of eighteenth century marshal strategies. Due to the slower, more elegant nature of this form of battle, individuals who prefer nonsensical sports like “artistic gymnastics” will be drawn to the coordinated drill maneuvers and ridiculously bright uniforms.
Modern Commando would be far more entertaining, because it would allow for automatic paintball guns and paintball grenades to determine which country has the most military prowess. The Olympics could level the playing field, because presumably we wouldn’t allow the American team to employ paintball drones or a nuclear arsenal. So what normally dictates global military clout (defense expenditures, armaments, lack of French input) would be nullified. You’d simply arm fifty people with paintball guns, drop them in an obstacle course, and see who wins.
We could create a third category of Paintball Dueling, which would be used exclusively to settle disputes in other events. If someone tied in Dressage (a ridiculous sport wherein the overall goal is to train a horse so well that the rider can comfortably nap throughout the entire event), the final winner would be determined by the outcome of the duel.
2. Require Obligatory Nudity at Boring Events
Why have we not yet abolished synchronized swimming? On what grounds is it a “sport”? Surely there aren’t that many people enthralled with Lawrence Welk still alive to keep this event viable.
There are only two things which might render coordinated aqua-waltzing viewable. One is if we released angry, horny dolphins into the pool to distract the swimmers. That would be worth watching. The other option would be to make all of the participants bare-ass nude.
I have no interest whatsoever in watching synchronized swimming, but I would definitely tune into “coordinated skinny dipping.” In fact I would fly to London tomorrow if I knew Sweden and Brazil were about to face off in such a contest. That goes double if Flipper might go crazy and attack someone at any given time. (If we caught a team abusing steroids, the following year we could punish them by introducing killer whales.)
Similarly, why is trampolining a sport? How do judges even determine who wins? Obviously if you jump too hard and fly into the neighbor’s bushes you lose points, but otherwise is it determined by some combination of steroid abuse and bribing Eastern European judges? The whole thing strikes me as prohibitively subjective and overwhelmingly asinine.
How do we jazz it up? Again: obligatory nudity. In this case mandatory trampolining in the buff would do more to satiate curiosity than stoke libido. For instance, I only have a vague idea of what my own equipment’s relative size is, and I don’t trust the opinion of former paramours.
Trampolining au naturale, with representation from all nationalities and ethnicities, would pretty well satisfy my curiosity. Plus, while you might lose a medal in the event, you could gain global notoriety for other laudable reasons.
3. Create Unicycle Jousting
Bicycle jousting already exists: I dabbled a little in college. You strap a boxing glove to the end of a long pole, extend the bicycle’s seat up a foot or two, then peddle furiously and attempt to dislodge the other rider from his own bike.
I didn’t joust often, but I was good enough that I could sometimes absorb a solid blast to my abdomen without falling off my vehicle. Which is why unicycles would be more entertaining: it would be very difficult to maintain your balance if, say, a long pole with a sandbag on the end pelted you in face.
And of course if unicycle jousters got good enough to withstand that sort of treatment, we would simply mandate nudity.
4. Add Kangaroos into Boxing
This year the Olympics finally admitted female boxers, presumably because the committee in charge realized that the sorts of folks who enjoy watching people beat the hell out of each other usually get more of a thrill watching cat fights than bar fights anyway. So in the spirit of gender equality, both sexes may now participate.
Personally, neither event particularly captivates my interest. Which is why we should throw in kangaroos.
Now, before the animal rights people come after me for promoting kangaroo boxing, my understanding is that kangaroos generally end up kicking ass against humans most of the time. They can deliver mean punches with their arms, but if you really piss them off, they rock back on their tails and kick-box you in the kisser. Overall it’s a far fight.
We could make “Animals” their own country, and allow kangaroos to fight people in the event of Kangaroo Boxing. Presumably a kangaroo wouldn’t care much about winning a gold medal, so we’d provide some kind of comparable award. For instance, whatever medals they accrue could be auctioned off, with the proceeds donated to wildlife conservation efforts. Also, if a kangaroo knocks you out, you have to personally follow it around for a month with a little bag to pick up its poop.
5. FINALLY Make Bocce Ball an Olympic Sport
Yes, I realize that bocce ball is not as entertaining as coordinated skinny dipping or kangaroo boxing. But here’s why it needs to be introduced to the Olympics:
I could win it.
Those familiar with bocce ball will tell you that the difference between a grizzled, seasoned veteran and an absolute neophyte is not so huge. It is, after all, a sport you can play without ever setting down your beer.
Between my meerkat physique and the eye-hand coordination of a rodeo clown on Valium, it’s unlikely I’ll ever qualify for other Olympic sports. However I’m confident that with aggressive training I could, in theory, represent the United States on a proposed bocce ball team.
It would be an unbelievable honor to represent my nation in the Olympics. But even greater than this privilege is the prospect of winning and then being a total dick about it to losers in other sports.
I would wear my medal in bocce ball everywhere, and belittle the Adonis-like paragons of human athleticism who failed to achieve gold medals in events such as weightlifting or judo.
What are your suggestions?
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Andrew Heaton is a writer and standup comedian in New York City. If this post made you laugh or think, kindly "like" it on Facebook.