As we all know, aside from those of us that live in forests, jungles or on the moon, the London Olympics are now in full swing. Competitors from all over the world have descended on London to spend a few weeks proving who is the best at
not getting caught for using performance enhancing drugs running, jumping, running and jumping, chucking stuff at blades of grass, making horses dance, riding a bicycle in circles and numerous other fun-filled events. I can’t help but feel like the entire circus is a deeply distressing repulsive freak show fantastic advert for the Olympic spirit.
Now that’s a load of bollocks. The Olympic spirit, I mean. As a kid I somehow formed the opinion that the Olympics were about men and women competing in events which anyone could do in the spirit of fair play. Little did I realise how wrong I was. Putting the obvious drug abuse to one side, I have to ask myself how I formed that opinion when the Olympics contain a myriad of pointlessly stupid events. Any event where the competitors can use different equipment is one which potentially gives an artificial advantage to a competitor. Surely in the equestrian events the medals should go to the horses and not the jockeys. In the various cycling in circles events does everyone use the same bike? And well the inclusive nature of the yachting and rowing speaks for itself, as the number of yacht clubs in Essex is incredible. That’s without even starting on the team sports, as the Ancient Olympics were never about teams.
The Ancient Olympics initially contained only one event. It was a single foot race, a sprint. Over the years it added a number of other races, the most notable of all was the hoplitodromos. This race was ran in full or partial armour and a helmet, for sometimes two laps of the stadium. It wasn’t about loving your fellow-man. It was about infantry tactics. Surprisingly there were NO FIELD EVENTS as individual competitions. The only recognisable field events were part of the Pentathlon which consisted of wrestling, a sprint, long jump, javelin and the discus throw. Probably the most interesting of all were the three different fighting disciplines. Boxing, Wrestling and Pankration(which was a mix of the two). Interestingly the fighting events had no rest periods or rules against hitting a man whilst he was down. The fights continued untill a man surrendered or died. In the true spirit of the Olympics, if a competitor died, he was declared the winner. The last thing I would like to add about the Ancient Olympics is that horses were used in a chariot race, which means that those people who claim that equestrian is not in the spirit of the Olympics are talking nonsense.
As we can see, the modern spirit of the Olympics has nothing to with Olympic origin. In essence the Ancient Olympics contained events which were functional. There was no sense of fair play. It was about who was the best at doing things which were sometimes necessary for their own survival. It’s apparent that the true spirit has been lost in time. What we need now is a new spirit, a spirit representative of the magnificent age we live in. It’s with that in mind I have decided to make a suggestion to the Olympic committee. Let’s throw out all events and start again. Let’s create an Olympics for our generation, one with relevance to our everyday lives. We shall call it ‘The Even More Modern Modern Olympiad’ I will leave you with a few suggestions to help the Olympic committee get started.
- To combat the use of performance enhancing drugs, force competitors to drink 8 pints of beer before the start of each event.
- To encourage children to be interested in sport, include events which anyone can play such as knock down ginger, who can wee the highest and who can spit the furthest.
- Keep the hurdle events and make all competitors compete naked. Oh, and cover the hurdles in barbed wire.
- Get rid of all throwing events. They were only included to make fat kids feel better on school sports days anyway.
- But keep the hammer throw. Replace the hammers with dwarves.
- Replace the horses in equestrian eventing with coconut shells.
- Completely redesign the cycling events. Instead of bicycles, give the competitors tesco shopping trolleys. Instead of using a velodrome, use a hill. The rest is self-explanatory.
- Tree climbing. Kids used to like it. Adults shouldn’t do it. Especially drunk. It will be great.
- Replace all of the shooting events with one universal event. Instead of guns or bows and arrows, give each competitor a straw and a serviette to soak with spit and blow throw it.
- And last but not least, a ‘talking about the weather’ event. This way we can guarantee that Britain will win at least one gold every four years.