Your Unofficial 2012 Summer Olympics Preview

Thank goodness for the Summer Olympics.  With basketball season over and football still months away, London is about to provide us all with a cure for the summertime blues, and an opportunity to try our luck at some Olympics 2012 betting to boot.

Aside from watching Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and USA Basketball prolong their worldwide dominance, I thought I’d preview some lesser known Olympic events to see if I could generate a little interest.

So here goes nothing.

Trampoline: Men’s – August 3rd; Women’s – August 4th

Trampoline.  That’s right, I said it.  That rusty old deathtrap in your neighbor’s backyard that his eight year old broke his ankle on months earlier.  It’s a garage sale item waiting to happen.

I never knew Trampoline was an Olympic event but apparently it debuted in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.  I’m pretty sure I watched those but don’t recall seeing anyone bounce up and down repeatedly on some dangerous, Plasticine roundtable while doing somersaults in mid-air.

I’ve never been fond of trampolines, partially because I don’t like heights and partially because I’m scared to death of falling off the darned things.  I’ve always preferred those inflatable bouncy houses.  At least they had walls to use as a safety net.

China dominated the Trampoline events in Beijing, taking home gold in both the men’s and women’s, probably because we Americans don’t consider trampolining a sport, but rather a place to roll around with a member of the opposite sex after we’ve had a few too many.

Or maybe the Chinese do too and that’s why their population is so high.

Table Tennis: Men’s – July 28th through August 8th; Women’s – July 28th through August 7th 

Speaking of things we like to do when we’re drunk, ping pong is once again featured in this year’s Olympics.  The funny thing about ping pong is, no matter how good you think you are after tipping back a few, you always run into someone in the bar better than you.

Despite being made famous in Forrest Gump, Olympic table tennis has only existed since 1988.  The USA has never medaled in the event, once again probably because most of us only play when we’re drunk.  China has dominated this event as well, winning 20 out of 24 gold medals in the event’s history.

I’m going to hold out until beer pong becomes an Olympic event.  That way I can compete in something while also imbibing the spirits.

Handball: Men’s – July 29th through August 12th; Women’s July 28th through August 11th

I’m from New York City, so when I think of handball, I picture glove-wearing, middle-aged men getting together for lunchtime on the upper West Side, sweating it out behind the chain link fences, cursing relentlessly as they pound a racquetball up against the wall with their palms.

Believe it or not, hand ball was actually an Olympic event back in 1936.  It was later suspended, only to be picked up again in the 1970s.  Surprisingly, no American male or female has ever medaled in this event.

I say it’s about time we get some New Yorkers from out of the Bronx, headbands, goggles and all, and ship them over to London to see how they fare.  Now that would make for a healthy screenplay.

Archery: Men’s – July 27th through August 3rd; Women’s July 27th through August 2nd

I was never any good at archery at summer camp.  There were things I was good at, things I was bad at and archery rested squarely in the latter.  I could barely get the damn arrow to go ten feet, never mind hit a hay-filled target fifty yards away.

Think about it.  Name one superhero that used a bow and arrow that was bad ass.  The Green Arrow, Hawkeye, that pale, long-haired elf from Lord of the Rings?  Sure, they could kick your ass from a distance but once you got up close, what were their chances?

And isn’t archery pretty much glorified darts anyway?  Sweet!  Another drinking game!  I’m sensing a theme here.

Believe it or not, archery debuted in the Olympics in 1900 and has been an event every year since 1972.  Americans are relatively competitive when it comes to the bow and arrow but South Korea is this year’s favorite.

Synchronized Swimming: Women’s – August 5th through August 10th

There is no way I could possibly do synchronized swimming the justice Harry Shearer, Martin Short and Christopher Guest did back in the 1980s.  Enjoy!

Fencing: Men’s – July 29th through August 5th; Women’s July 28th through August 4th

Is this a sport any of us really understand?  I mean, they use swords called epees, masks which we can barely see through, more padding than a catcher’s chest protector and look like extras from Mortal Kombat.  Nobody knows how the sport is scored.  We just watch masked avengers swipe the crap out of each other with their thin little swords, then change the channel after we realize no one is bleeding from impact.

Fencing’s been around since the very first Olympics and still, most of us don’t know what the hell is going on.  France and Italy have traditionally dominated the event but believe it or not, the US does hold two gold medals in fencing, thanks to Mariel Zagunis in 2004 and 2008.  She’ll be going for a three-peat in London this summer.

And she could probably beat me even if I had a bow and arrow.

Badminton: Men’s July 28th through August 5th; Women’s through August 4th

Shuttlecock.  The mere mention of that word is enough to make the immature me chuckle.

I’ve seen professional badminton before.  It’s insanely fast.  In fact, it’s so fast, you can barely see the damn thing fly through the air, so what’s the point in watching?

Badminton made its Olympic debut in 1992 and is yet another sport dominated by the Chinese and guys named Ling, Ning and Yang.  The USA has never medaled in badminton.

I couldn’t find any odds to see who’s actually favored to win this year’s Olympic Badminton but, I can tell you this.  If you’re gambling on badminton, it’s probably time to seek professional help.

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20 Replies to “Your Unofficial 2012 Summer Olympics Preview”

  1. Well the IOC has always tried to stay ahead of the curve hence the reasons behind some of these sports’ inclusion in the games . But really , the Games in its self described purity has become a complete joke corrupted by power influence but overall money ! Never mind the fact the IOC Executive Committee is itself corrupt and anti-women .

    Jacques Rogge
    , the IOC President makes Selig seem like a damn genius . In a recent statement when asked whether or not he (Rogge) felt that Syria should be included in the Games . His response (paraphrase) ……. ” I feel that by including the nation it will lead to them in part still remaining part of the international brotherhood and thereby knowing that the whole world is watching “ . Is this guy serious when you bear in mind the countless lives lost in the present struggle going on there under the Bashar al- Assad regime ?

    If Usain Bolt fails to win the men’s 100 & 200 meters in London , I won’t at all be surprised , as his countryman Yohan Blake beat him convincingly in both events in the Jamaican trials and also clocked the fastest times in the world this year in both events .


  2. OK! 1-bouncy-house ordered 4 SC BD. 🙂
    hee hee

    Just joking … or am I?

    ps: Fun post SC. Great read.

  3. The British Olympic committee has downsized their estimates for the number of medals to be won . It’ll be less than the figure won in Beijing in 2008 . I insisted , if they had pub crawling around the East End of London as an exhibition sport I’d be an Olympic favorite , as I’ve consumed enough beet from all of the major pubs in the locale during my time there while a resident .

    Alas it was far too late to approach the IOC in this being an exhibition sport and it is unlikely that will become a recognized sport . But hell if they can have BMX riders and now women’s boxing. Then why not guys and gals going around the streets of London getting “blind drunk” all for the love of a sport and love of country ? We Brits are actually use to that as that’s how we actually prepare for a soccer game and with it comes to loutish and thug behavior . LOL,LOL,LOL !!! Not that I condone those actions or have ever indulged in such gross behavior , I swear .

    tophatal …..

  4. So have you ever been hunting? I’m guessing if you have you never used arrows. I went once with a crossbow, and didn’t get anything, but if I had I have a feeling I would’ve felt a lot more accomplished than the times I’ve gone with a gun!

    Of the events you listed, Ping pong is easily the most watchable imo…

  5. Al…

    If you need any signatures on that “Please add competitive drinking to the 2016 Rio Olympics” petition, please let me know where I can sign on the line that is dotted.

  6. Chap…

    Doesn’t a crossbow have a trigger though?

    And no, my hunting consists strictly of going to the supermarket for any meats I may need to cook for myself.

  7. Chris, if humorous writing were an Olympic sport,
    you’d be taking home the gold!


  8. BS….

    I didn’t feel like popping Forrest Gump into the DVD player (okay, VCR) to see if the time Gump actually played table tennis for the US was pre-1988.

    I thought it was though, which would technically have been a flaw in the movie considering the event didn’t exist in the Olympics until the late 1980s.

    More than enough reason to give Pulp Fiction the nod over Gump for picture of the year that year if you ask me.

  9. Bleed…

    Good call on Geena Davis. I totally forgot about her archeriness, which is a word I just made up.

    Had she been alongside Jeff Goldblum in Independence Day slinging those arrows, those damn aliens wouldn’t have done nearly the damage they did.

  10. Chris

    Professional bar hopping ………. if it becomes an Olympic sport you can count on this a petition won’t be necessary to get it included as an event in any future games .

    Here’s something new , F1 Chief Bernie Ecclestone , the head of FIA that covers Formula One open wheel racing has approached IOC President Jacques Rogge to have that sport included in the Olympics . Considering that’s the most expensive ( upwards of $140 – $175 million a year per car ) sport on the planet in terms of budgetary concerns that bull#hit won’t fly .

    The character and story upon which the basis for the Geena Davis role in a League of Their Own recently died at age 87 .

    Here’s my take on the upcoming Olympics in London . As and when you’re ready let me know what you think ?

    I’ll Take The Hypocrisy , Also To Be Served up With A Side Order of Bull#hit .

    tophatal …………

  11. Next up for inclusion for the Olympics may well be NASCAR ………… needlepoint and , poker .

    Baseball and softball will never make a successful return to the Olympics as long as Selig remains an intransigent as#hole as it relates to a comprehensive drug testing policy as recognized by WADA .

    Is Goodell still insistent that he and the union will actually finally get around to begin in and out of season testing ? I mean the league and union agreed in principle on the deal . Now both sides are reneging ? What’s up with that ? Or should I really be asking that in light of the idiot fans who believe the NFL still remains above reproach ?

    tophatal ………

  12. Car racing in the Olympics, Al? I think I’ll pass.

    But needlepoint? Hysterical! I’ll tell my mom to get ready. RIO IN 2016, HERE WE COME!!!

  13. I was disappointed to hear the Olympic Archery competition was not adjusted to account for the feverish, global passion of “The Hunger Games” and human targets will alas not be in play. Glorified darts indeed. Have these contestants chase each other about and take aim. Now THAT would be something I’d be willing to get a few bets down on once familar with the athleticism of the participants.

  14. SA….

    A Hunger Games reference, the first ever on this site. Nice work.

    I’m thinking most of my readers will have a follow-up question for you, such as “What the hell is that?”

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