February 12, 2006

My Olympic Vision

So, the 2006 Winter Olympics are now under way, and Bode Miller's a rebel and Michelle Kwan withdrew from competition and. . . generally Americans don't care much about the Winter Olympics.

I have several theories as to why Americans don't particularly care about the Winter Olympics, but my leading hypothesis is that, come this time of year, Americans are pretty much sick and tired of winter, so being reminded that it is, in fact, winter, is more than a little annoying. Now, if we were talking about the 2006 Tropical Olympics, I'm betting there would be more interest.

More generally, though, I think America, and maybe the world in general, is losing interest in the Olympics as a whole. Oh, sure, it used to be a venue where the greatest athletes on the planet came together to compete for the coveted gold medal, but that interest has been sullied by countless steroid scandals, furor over questionable judging and the fact that people are running out of jokes that make fun of curling and synchronized swimming.

Therefore, in an effort to save the global institution that is the Olympics, I offer up the following solution: rather than seeking out the greatest athletes in the world to compete in the multitude of Olympic events, let's start picking people at random, right off the street, and give them just three weeks to prepare for competition. I figure that, since reality television is such a hit, this idea will bring viewership by the trillions, which means even aliens from the planets Zaxson and Plobos will be tuning in.

Imagine, if you will, a 100-meter dash consisting of a 26-year-old computer-technician, a 47-year-old NASCAR enthusiast, a 14-year-old middle-school student, a 55-year-old college professor and a 35-year-old sanitation worker. I mean, seriously, who WOULDN'T want to see that? I'd tune in just to see who DIDN'T make it across the finish line.

Better yet, imagine downhill skiing with the same cast of competitors listed above, or even better than that. . . bobsledding! The sheer look of undiluted terror on the faces of average everybodies would be worth its weight in Olympic gold.

Of course, any anticipation that may have preceded the previous Olympic model would be replaced by a looming dread that you may be picked, at random, to compete in the next Olympic cycle. You'd be sitting there, three weeks before the Olympics, and you'd receive a letter in the mail, with the tell-tale five Olympic ring logo in the corner. Oh. . . crap.

Hands sweating, you'd open the terrifying piece of correspondence, hoping beyong hope that you've been selected for the long jump, or curling (not so funny any more, is it?), or spring board diving, only to read the letter and see that you have three weeks to prepare for. . .

A marathon! The skeleton! Platform diving! The tri-athlon!

Over the next three weeks, in addition to frantic training, you'd be hounded by an international press determined to learn as much about you as possible before your public embarrassment and/or serious injury/death.

You'd see Olympic articles start off with paragraphs like: "At 5'4" and 230 pounds, 38-year-old Henry Lewis expresses concerns over his chances in the pole vault." Or: "With her fear of heights well established with her friends, family and therapist, 27-year-old Jessica Sanders will face considerable obstacles when it comes to securing a gold medal in the ski jump."

I'm sure you'll agree that, under my new Olympic model, the Games will be thoroughly enjoyed for generations and generations to come.

At least by those who aren't selected to compete.

Posted by Ryan at February 12, 2006 05:57 PM | TrackBack

Hahahahahahahaha... oh man, I'd totally tune in to watch. I would violate my own personal ban on reality tv to watch this.

Posted by: Rick at February 13, 2006 01:35 PM

As long as they don't have to sing any crappy ass songs while being judged by an English wankdaddy.

Posted by: Johnny Huh? at February 15, 2006 12:45 AM
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