Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Random Thoughts on the Olympics

So, I've been watching the Olympics a bit.  And, I've been thinking a bit about it.  It seems I have a few thoughts/comments about competitive sporting events.

The first is regarding swimming versus running.  Why is it that there are multiple styles of swimming, but not multiple styles of running?  Why don't they have an event where you have to run backwards, which would be a backstroke counterpart?  Or, why isn't there a race where you hop on one leg, which would be more like a butterfly counterpart (just an awkward stroke in my opinion)?  The closest thing I could think of was that there does exist a hurdling event, but other than that, what other individual running event is actually a different style of running?

Second, everyone complains about doping and drugs in the professional sports world.  Now, I can understand if you want to make sure that professional sports are clean.  But, in the Olympics, I honestly think that there ought to be an Open Olympics.  There exists a Special Olympics for those that are disabled.  I believe there should be an Open Olympics that are for those that want to be extra-enabled via whatever drugs/training/long-term doping tactic they wish to use.

I, for one, am really interested in seeing just how fast a human can run if they did do all the crazy drugs or doping.  And, it would tell us what our drug/pharmaceutical technology has allowed us to achieve.  We were able to travel faster as humans due to technology.  We built rocket ships.  How much more dangerous is doping than rocket ships?  And, if the participant were fully aware of the dangers, then more power to them -- and the kicker is that we're not necessarily even talking about illicit drugs.

There are many competitions where competitors compete against others that are roughly at their rating level.  And, along with those competitions, there exist open competitions where all the rating restrictions are dropped.  I figure they might as well have an Open Olympics competition.  This way there exists no allegations of cheating (insofar as drugs go), and we get to really see how far technological advances have taken us.

Ya, call me crazy, but I think it'd be worth a serious look.

1 comment:

Duke said...

For track they have the triple jump, which is 3 jumps but the way you do them is controlled (either right right left, or left left right, never 2 footed). That's kind of like a custom running event.

There are 2 heights/distances of hurdles, and then there's the steeplechase with not only an immovable hurdle, but water after it.

There is also race walking, which is pretty much the same thing as running awkwardly (running while leaving a foot in contact with the ground at all times).

The thing about running is that running different distances is so specialized by now that they don't need different types to let other experts have a shot at winning. The guy who wins the 100 is not going to have a shot in hell at anything over 400 (and you either do 100-200 or 200-400). In swimming, since it's so physically taxing anyhow, even the shortest races have an endurance element so you can be good in all but the marathon (swimming marathon in this context - the running marathon is already clearly different than even the running 10k).

It would be pretty awesome to see someone not do a front crawl during a freestyle swimming event. Just some completely random stroke that nobody ever thought of before.