Saturday, August 11, 2012
The modern pentathlon ranks very highly on my list of current Olympic events that are unworthy of this honor. I have no doubt it is an athletic endeavor. A great many things are athletic endeavors and they are not sports at the Olympic level. Rugby, chess boxing, MMA, American football are all athletic activities, even cerebral as well at times, but none of them are in the Olympics. Of course, there are certain criteria the Olympics put forth for inclusion such as global appeal, but a handful of competitors from many countries does not equate to global appeal. Perhaps what I find most off-putting is almost any sport that involves a horse. If the horse is doing most of the work, I'm not sure why the human gets the medal. Now if a person jumped over barriers and ran through water, that would be fun to watch. Actually, is is fun to watch and it is called the steeplechase. If the person carried the horse, or perhaps a smaller animal like a wolf, that would be far more impressive. A combination sport like horse-back riding mixed with archery would be fun and not horse-centric. It would be about accuracy while moving. That seems like something the Mongolians and some Central Asian countries might do very well in. But things like dressage or any activity that involves a tax-deductible dancing horse seem out of character with the seemingly egalitarian Olympic ideals.