Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic Dreams

The Olympics are here and there have been several great moments already (see the men's 4X100M swim relay). As I've watched the games there has been a feeling that some of the events are easier than others and that I too could be an Olympian. Here is a list of all the events:

  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Boxing
  • Canoe/Kayak
  • Cycling
  • Diving
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • Gymnastics
  • Handball
  • Judo
  • Modern Pentathlon
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics
  • Rowing
  • Sailing
  • Shooting
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Synchronized Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Taekwondo
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Trampoline
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo
  • Weightlifting
  • Wrestling

Ok, so let's throw out the obvious one. I have no rhythm so Rhythmic Gymnastics is out (btw is there a men's event for this?). Besides me in a gymnastics outfit is just soooo wrong. Going down through the list we can easily throw out Archery, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Canoe/Kayak, Diving, Equestrian, Fencing, Gymnastics, Judo, Modern Pentathlon, Synchronized Swimming, Taekwondo, Trampoline, Triathlon, Volleyball, Weightlifting and Wrestling.

So what does that leave? A few events I might have had a shot at in my earlier (and more fit years). So here's what I think about the rest:

  • Badminton - Hey I played this growing up in the back yard how hard can it be?

  • Baseball - I also played this one growing up and my best asset was speed. I was good at beating out infield hits and stealing bases. Result? I'd be on the bench as a sub at best.

  • Cycling - Ok I grew up to be better suited for X-Games BMX style than road racing, but I did have endurance (I could bike all day growing up)

  • Field Hockey - I played street hockey when I was younger and watched the girls on the high school team play field hockey, I know I could do that

  • Handball- This is one of those games that takes a while to understand. However, I bet I could do most of that even if I'm only 5'9" tall. I could see myself on the outside recklessly throwing myself towards goal while shooting.

  • Rowing - I've paddled a canoe before and have good timing (even though I lack rhythm). I could be good for a short sprint event or two.

  • Sailing - Steer and move the sail to use the wind, not too tough, I mean there is more than one person in the boat so I could take the easiest of jobs

  • Shooting - Ready Aim Fire, what could be so hard about that? I've shot my share of guns growing up so it shouldn't be that hard.

  • Soccer - OK this one I could do. I averaged a goal a game in high school before breaking my toe my Junior year. This would be the one for me

  • Softball - Why isn't there a men's division here? I've played it as an adult.

  • Swimming - What's so hard about swimming down and back and doing it at top speed? I could do this one with my eyes closed

  • Table Tennis - Ok, I'm pretty good with a paddle, I won a tournament in 6th grade what more do I need for qualifications?

  • Tennis - It's just an extension of Table Tennis, besides how many ball marks did I leave on the house hitting a tennis ball in my driveway? Piece of cake

  • Track & Field - I'm quick, I know I could run some of those events and place well. I jump pretty well too so I could enter those events. Javelin? How hard can it be to throw a spear when you've thrown a baseball?

  • Water Polo - I can swim well, I know how to throw a ball and I know how to score goals. This could be the perfect game for me.


Ok, so none of the list above is as easy as it looks on TV. Some of the list above I have tried and I can tell you there is a reason why the participants train for hours everyday. It's nice to dream, but reality is that I would have had to be a lot better than I was in my prime (not that I'm that far away from my prime) to even sniff a chance at making the Olympic squad. The men and women participating in the Olympics deserve to be there and have worked hard to get there. Any of us that thinks we could do what they are doing without having put in the time is grossly mistaken and needs to have their head examined.

Of course that doesn't mean my children couldn't be Olympians. . .

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