Joke sports are games that are poor substitutes for athletic endeavors that bring out the best in human achievement with an underlying purpose to the event. The inclusion of many joke sports in the 2012 Summer Olympics detracted from the serious events, and the sharp reduction in American interest in the Olympics after 2012 may be due to the inclusion of joke sports. Some joke sports are inspired by political correctness; others are simply due to a lobbying effort by people who stand to gain from their inclusion.
The lamestream media publicize joke sport winners more than world records set in real sports, which distorts the legitimacy of the Olympics. Also, the format used for at least one of the joke sports below (badminton) resulted in an expulsion of several teams from the 2012 Summer Olympics which caused embarrassment to the entire Olympics. At one point the Olympics Committee even planned to exclude wrestling, which is one of the most strenuous and authentic sports, so that less manly sports could be included instead.
Examples of possible joke sports include:
- Aerial skiing
- Beach volleyball
- BMX cycling
- Rhythmic gymnastics
- Mogul skiing
- Halfpipe Snowboarding
- Olympic Soccer
- Synchronized swimming
- Swimming relays
- Table tennis
Of course, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is constantly being lobbied by sports executives who would gain funding and prestige if their sport were included in the Olympic Programme. To respond to these pressure groups without admitting even more sports into the games, the IOC created a "half-way" status of "recognized sports federation." There are currently 68 sport federations recognized by IOC. Over half of those administer sports in the Summer and Winter Games. But the 31 members of Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF) administer sports that are not a part of the Olympics. Some of these sports, such as motor sports, are ineligible from ever being a part of the Olympics because the Olympic Charter excludes motor sports. The ARISF members nonetheless receive funding from the IOC and the national Olympic committees.
Notes and references
- The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) imposes rules on players regarding the Olympic Games over the age of participants. This has the effect of prohibiting the best (usually professional) players in the world from competing. The age limit is currently 23 and under. FIFA is trying to lower it to 21 and under; however, the International Olympic Committee is not planning to comply with proposed rules.
- In running relays, there is a baton that must be artfully passed during the race. No such baton passing exists for the silly swimming relays. Would anyone want a long jump or pole vault "relay"??? However, in swimming relays, strategy is an important component. Placement of the fastest and slowest swimmers in the order is important. Also, precise timing is required as well - the swimmer completing his/her turn must touch the wall before the following swimmer can leave the starting block.
- International federations. olympic.org. Retrieved on Aug 13, 2012.
- ARISF - Members. arisf.org. Retrieved on Aug 13 2012.
- Olympic Charter. Retrieved on Aug 13, 2012.