Okay, this will be my only Olympic post, so I'll make this quick. Perhaps.
Everyone has an opinion on what should or should not be an Olympic sport. And I'll have to admit that occasionally I run it through my mind. I should, by way of disclosure, point out that I don't care deeply about the Olympics. They've been on TV at our house a fair bit, but for the most part it wouldn't bother me if it took more than four years for them to roll around. Much ado about a little.
Townie Bastard, someone whose opinions always interest me, put forth his position in his usual inimitable style. And in essence he doesn't think that any event with judging should not be an Olympic Sport, and that would include sports such as Moguls, the event that saw Canada win its first gold at home.
I can see his point, but I don't agree. Judging to some degree is a part of all the events. It is certainly more overt in something like Ice Dance, and there are problems. But bad officiating can be a problem in something like Hockey as well, and affect the outcome. The point isn't that judged events shouldn't be allowed, but that the judging should be as fair as possible.
No for me the criteria should be athleticism. Olympic athletes should not be mere mortals. They should be the best athletes out there. Sometimes that might take a judge to decide. And yes, sometimes they might fail in their decision. Its a human activity, we have a lot of flaws.
I can't say that I would miss figure skating if it ceased to exist, I probably wouldn't notice. But watching them on TV I can't help but be amazed at their skill, and yes their athleticism. I'm not sure if everyone could do Skeleton, probably not, but I'm also not sure if they transcend that "mere mortal" criteria. I actually like my friend Dave's suggestion on Facebook, that the finish line should be back by the start line, and after that run down the hill, they'd have to haul themselves and the sled back up the hill.
To that end, as much as I love the sport, and played the sport, I don't think curling should be an Olympic Sport. My dad was a darn fine skip in his day, but I couldn't think of him as an Olympian. And yes the curlers there are good, damn better than me, but they aren't athletes, not in the true sense of the word. I know there is a special place in Townie's heart for the sport of curling, but it is what it is. There are darn fine dart players out there, whose level of skill I'd never reach, but I don't think they should be in the Olympics either. It might be a sport, but its not athletic.
Bottom line, the Olympics are entertainment on a big scale. I scoffed when I heard Snowboarding was going to be in the Olympics. But I can't deny that Snowcross, or what ever its properly called, is damn entertaining. Should it be there? I'd need to take a lot more convincing, and probably not. There should be less sports, not more. That's not going to happen.