Otherwise known as “The Olympics”.
No, seriously. If you really consider what the Olympic Games has become, it is mainly a collection of events you wouldn’t ordinarily switch the TV channel over to watch and certainly wouldn’t pay an entrance fee to attend.
Sure, the track and field events can pull a crowd outside of the four year cycle, and some swimming and cycling events have support but our friend Pareto then produces a very low and long tail of barely-supported sport for the rest.
Follow this link to the full list and count how many of the categories you’ve physically attended in the last decade. If the answer is more than 4 and you aren’t employed by Sky Sports or aren’t the parent of a very athletic child, I will be amazed.
Nobody in the history of the planet has ever said to their significant other, “Hey, there’s a rhythmic gymnastic competition on Saturday and an indoor climbing event on Sunday. That’s our weekend sorted then“.
Pierre de Coubertin’s re-imagining of the Olympic Games adopted “Citius, Altius, Fortius” as its motto. Or, for those of you who didn’t have a classical education, “Faster, Higher, Stronger“. I’m not sure which of those three categories Artistic Swimming falls under.
A side note, I’m scratching my head as to why the motto is in Latin, not Greek.
“Grigorótera, Psilá, Ischyróteri“, for example.
But I digress.
You and I vote with our wallets and feet on non-Olympic years. We don’t attend, watch or have anything to do with most events deigned by the Olympics organising committee to be worthy of time and resources at their games. I would guess that perhaps 95% of the sports don’t have any significant number of spectators who aren’t relatives of the competitors outside the four year festival.
Obviously Australia has its own unique code of football which hasn’t penetrated much in the rest of the world, possibly due to a slight marketing problem with the name, but horse racing and motor sports are popular elsewhere.
So why no Olympic V8 car event?
Because it needs expensive equipment? Go visit a boat show and examine the prices of the various categories of Olympic class racing vessels….
My hypothesis stated in the title seems robust, especially given the ridiculous news that breakdancing is likely to be an Olympic sport.
Breakdancing. Is. A. Sport.
One feels the Olympics may have been just a little guilty of overreach over the years. When League of Legends is made an Olympic sport, the shark will have been truly jumped, altius.
Oh, and for those curious why I was reading the Philadelphia Inquirer, I was sent there from David Thompson’s place to read this. It isn’t a parody.