I've been on Olympic overdrive and watching and thinking about sports of all kinds over the course of the last week and a half. Of course, nobody has asked, but if they did here are the recommendations and guidelines that I would propose:
- If chiffon costuming and/or judges are the main way that winners and losers in your activity are decided, it is not a sport. Indeed, the tasks involved might take loads of athletic talent, but in my mind they should not qualify as sport. Gymnastics … Not a sport. Rhythmic gymnastics … Even more not a sport. Synchronized swimming (which I very much enjoy watching) … Not a sport. Ice skating … SO not a sport. I'm not saying that the people that do these activities aren't great athletes … Just that in my mind, their sports aren't sports. Diving … Not a sport (though I'd be all for giving medals out to people willing to hurl themselves head first off of a three story building just for the heck of it … No competition … If you do it you get a gold medal … Pass or fail scoring.). Synchronized swimming … Not a sport.
- If, as a fan, you cannot cheer whenever the hell you feel like it, it isn't a sport. Golf … Not a sport. Tennis (which I play) … Not a sport. Bowling … Not a sport.
- If most of the work is done by a 1000 pound animal, it IS a sport, but the animal's name should be listed as the medalist. I'm sorry, Hinrich Romeike of Germany you are NOT the gold medal winner in Equestrian Eventing. Marius WON the event and you were along for the ride. Note: Based on item #1 above, it is possible that Dressage MAY NOT indeed be a sport (Sorry to tell you that Salinaro of the Netherlands ridden for gold by Anky Van Grunsven, Satchamo ridden for silver by Isabell Werth of Germany, and Bonaparte ridden for bronze by Heike Kemmer), but a rule is a rule and placement in your activity is solely based on judging you I'm afraid you probably aren't doing a sport (though your trotting and stuff looks really hard and it is quite beautiful and impressive to watch).
- If your sport is done mostly with a machine that doesn't require balance, it is SO not a sport. NASCAR … Not a sport.
As I said, I LOVE watching almost all of the "sporting activities" listed above, but I just do not see them as sports. I propose an all new category of "sporting activity" … SPORTAINMENT!!! I propose that the SPORTAINMENT OLYMPIC GAMES be held every four years on a schedule the fits the SPORTAINMENT OLYMPICS into years when there are no summer or winter games.
The U.S. (along with Mexico) would surely be among the top contenders for the gold in professional wrestling!!!
There would be some ass kicking TV ratings to be had!!!