The 2012 Olympics came to a close last night. Over the past two weeks I have watched a lot of Olympic coverage. Almost every night I watched tape-delayed coverage of the Olympics, even though I often knew who won. There were 302 events at this year’s Olympics and a majority of them never see the light of prime time coverage. Swimming and gymnastics are the popular jocks of the Olympics. Below are some of the less popular, nerdier Olympic sports.
Table tennis gets a bad wrap, to which I’m going to add. I think it’s amazing how the players rocket that little ball back and forth, standing six feet off of the table. No matter how impressive their Forrest Gump-like skills are, though, table tennis is a little nerdy. I can’t imagine that all the track stars and swimmers think of the table tennis players as their equals. Running 100 meters in less than 10 seconds is far more impressive than a lightning quick table tennis volley. Also, I know there’s no way I’ll ever run 100 meters in 10 seconds but, given enough time, I think I could win an Olympic medal in table tennis – or at least beat all of the kids in our youth group.
It’s pretty ridiculous that archery received a significant bump in popularity after The Hunger Games came out earlier this year. If a young nerd could parlay his or her love for Katniss into Olympic gold then it wouldn’t be nearly as ridiculous. Archery is another sport that, if given enough time, I think I could get pretty good at. Archery is every nerd’s favorite activity at summer camp. Instead of having to participate in ridiculous physical activities or awkward social interactions, us nerds could pretend we were our elven archer taking out a leveled ogre. Next to actually being Legolas, being an Olympic archer might be the next best thing.
I want a lightsaber. Who doesn’t want a lightsaber? The only reason fencing resembles a lightsaber duel is because they both have swords. Other than that there are hardly any similarities. Fencing is scored by touches and points. Lightsaber duels are scored by dismembered limbs. In high school one of my good friends fenced. He went to a lot of practices but I never once saw him cut off a hand or deflect laser blasts. To be honest, it was a little disappointing. I watched some fencing during the Olympics but it really just made me want to watch Obi-Wan duel Darth Maul at the end of Episode I. Even though it’s not as awesome as a lightsaber duel, fencing would allow a nerdy Olympian to swing a sword around and do his or her best Jack Sparrow impersonation.
I’m sad to see the Olympics go but I’m happy I’ll get my regularly scheduled evenings back. It’s great that the entire world can come together for a single event, setting aside our differences to celebrate those things we have in common.
What was your favorite moment from the London Olympics?