Tagged: olympics

Swim for Gold

swim fail

Rio, we’re going to Rio. Not really, can’t afford it and term 3 has just started, but via the wonders of digital TV, come Saturday we will all be glued to the tellybox at odd hours of the day, cheering on people we’ve never heard of in sports we’ve never heard of . C’mon!

This great event will also bring around the husband/wife 4 year Olympic argument. It is also a nationalistic argument between Great Britain and Australia.

My argument is this:

The only reason Australia appears to do well at the Olympics is because of swimming and the totally ludicrous amount of strokes and distances which offer medal opportunities.

To me, track and field was always the centrepiece of this sporting extravaganza, as it was in ancient Greece. And of those disciplines it was always the running which was the blue ribbon event. Now if we were to offer equal medal distribution, then swimming, like running would only be one stroke – freestyle, the one most people do. Scrap breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke and reduce the amount of distances which offer medals.

Now before you start shouting at me, even Australia’s own national broadcaster, the ABC agrees with me:

“Take swimming. Freestyle is by definition the fastest stroke of them all, because freestyle swimmers can swim however they like (though almost all of them do a version of the “front crawl” … because that’s the fastest).

So why do we celebrate the self-imposed limitations of other swimming events?

If you’re the best in the world at swimming backwards, you get a gold medal. But if you’re the best in the world at running backwards, you have to make do with being a curiosity on YouTube and going in the Guinness Book of Records alongside the person with the longest fingernails.”

Source: Michael Collett: Rio 2016: Five ways the Olympics aren’t always fair – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-04/five-ways-the-olympics-arent-always-fair/7685322

See, I’m not just a whinging Pom, I have the ABC behind me.

ian thorpe

Swimming is great fun, don’t get me wrong, but it has way too much Gold swinging from its kneck. It’s a pretty exclusive and elite discipline. Everyone can run, but not everyone can swim. Usually you need access to great community facilities to learn how to swim and to get the right coaching. If you want to run, just walk out the door and you’re good to go.

Sure let’s keep swimming in the Olympics but let’s scrap the crap and have one stroke and limit the amount of distances.

I now declare the Rio Olympiad open. Bring it on Australia.