Hot or Not: Summer Olympic Edition


CHRIS: Out of all the Olympic events on display this summer, I feel like this is the one that you simply cannot miss. Forget silly, insignificant events like swimming or soccer, make way for speedwalking! The challenge is to win a race where you must have one foot on the ground at all times. The average speed is 7 mph! They do this for hours! You simply haven’t lived until you’ve seen footage of Olympic speedwalkers in action. Their movement can be best compared to that of a frantic mob of people racing for the exit after a weeklong county-wide chili festival. If you’ve ever seen someone stub their toe and then try to walk it off, you’ve seen speedwalking. Unfortunately, despite sounding so exciting, watching a bunch of people waddle at 7mph for 4 hours doesn’t make for a particularly riveting event. When speedwalking comes on the TV, you’re better off going to make a burrito. Or twelve.


 KYLE: When I think of speed walking, I think of little kids at the pool that just got yelled at for running. What I don’t think of is the Olympic “sport,” if you will. Yes, speed walking is an Olympic “sport,” and it is just plain awful. It is grown men and women making a fool of themselves in front of a national audience. They look like Neanderthals. I mean seriously, they are WALKING around a track. Personally, I find NASCAR to be insufferable, but at least they are going around the track at 200 mph. So you can imagine how much worse it is, to watch people walk around a track at roughly 8 mph. Last time I checked, walking was the activity for a group of moms on a Saturday afternoon, not an event in the Olympics. It can’t be that far though, it’s just walking, you might say. Well no. They have 5000m speed walking races, which is equivalent to 3 miles. Watching a 5000m speed walking race is more boring to watch than watching paint dry in slow motion.


Synchronized Swimming-

 CHRIS: Synchronized swimming is what nightmares are made of. The main event of synchronized swimming is a complex aquatic gymnastic routine performed by what I’m assuming is a small army of demonically possessed androids. The 2012 gold medal performance from Russia has guaranteed that I won’t be sleeping anytime this month. The performance gets weird before they even hit the water as they start posing and thrashing around like a gaggle of malfunctioning Chuck E. Cheese animatronics. Once they jump in (although I’m surprised the water didn’t make them short-circuit,) they perform a maneuver I’m sure required years of practice, but still wound up looking like a crowd of old ladies in the middle of their aqua-dance class at the YMCA. Hey, at least you’re not as bored as the lifeguards are.


 KYLE: Anybody here interested in synchronized swimming? No, of course you’re not, because it’s crazy. It’s men and women dancing around doing weird robotic like dance moves while looking like sinister clowns. I can’t speak for the men, but I know that the women wear makeup until they look like murderous clowns. To be honest, when I turned the TV on and this popped up, I thought I was watching an infomercial for a new workout DVD, or at the very least a commercial for a low budget horror movie. If I wanted to watch a Zumba class I could have just gone to my community pool, or hung out with my grandma for a day. I would voluntarily saw off my own leg rather than watch another creepy, creepy round of synchronized swimming.



Table Tennis-

 CHRIS: Table tennis is one of those sports that confuses me to no end. In fact, I’m not even sure it is a sport. Isn’t table tennis just a neutered version of regular tennis? It’s ping-pong! The same game you can play in a sketchy frat house basement is also an Olympic event people spend years of their lives training for. I try my hardest not to burst into a giggle fit when two buff grown men step into an arena, shake hands, and start playing ping pong. It’s pretty crazy to watch, in all honesty. It’s a blur of people running and stretching their arms at angles previously unknown to all fields of mathematics. Every player is like that one guy who hammers the ball at you that you never want to play with, and it’s frightening to watch. I like ping pong as much as the next guy, but once it hits the point where you need to wear eye protection, I’m tapping out.




 KYLE: Often referred to as ping pong, table tennis made its Olympic debut all the way back in 1988. Which means that people have had to suffer through watching it for eight long Olympics. For all those mathematicians, that’s a span of 32 years. Now don’t get me wrong, I love to play table tennis, but play here is the key word. Watching it is extremely boring. Regular tennis is already pretty boring to watch, or at least quite repetitive. Shrink the court into a table and make it so the players are hitting a tiny white ball 100mph at each other, and it becomes extremely tedious, and like I said, quite boring to watch.




 CHRIS: Handball is like a generic, knockoff sport you can buy at Dollar Tree. Even the name sounds bootlegged. The game is essentially a long-term game of catch where players have to throw the ball into their opponent’s goal. Don’t we play this in gym class with a foam ball? If that doesn’t qualify handball to be the most legitimate sport of the century, I don’t know what will. It’s like if someone took 4 different sports and condensed them into a big shambling franken-sport that looks awkward for everyone involved. The players don’t even look happy when they score a goal, presumably because afterwards they immediately remember that they’re playing handball. Handball is one of those sports that you can just imagine the Olympic Committee had to make up at the last minute just to fill the event quota. Have you ever written an essay where you put in an entire paragraph of nonsense just to hit the word count? Handball is that paragraph in sports form. You can say I’m a bad sport, but you can also say that to handball.


 KYLE: Good ol’ handball. The game everybody loves to play in P.E. Well now the beloved game for teenagers and adults with too much free time on their hands has made it into the Olympics and into the hearts of men and women around the world. This year at Rio, handball made its debut, and I have to say, it was really cool to watch, and very interesting. For some reason, the USA did not have a handball team, but it was still fun to watch adults throw the ball to each other, and then pelt it as hard as they could at the goal, where the poor goalie had the luck of putting him/herself in front of a ball traveling at 80mph. With all the crazy and odd sports that are going on in the Olympics, this is the one that is actually a good type of interesting to watch.



Equestrian Dressage-

 CHRIS: Ok, now we’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Equestrian dressage? What does that even mean? Do they send horses out in little dresses? Are they covering horses in salad dressing? After some intense googling, I discovered that the event consists of a horse dance routine guided by a top-hat wearing rider who looks like they got lost on their way to the year 1886. This event is presumably for people who were forcibly imprisoned as children on a horse farm that doubled as a dance studio on weekends, as I can’t possibly conceive any other situation where such a misfit combination of interests would converge in such a spectacularly horrific manner. Equestrian dressage truly needs to be seen to be believed.  It’s speedwalking for horses.


 KYLE: What is equestrian dressage? This is a question you a probably asking yourself right now. It can’t possibly be worse the synchronized swimming? Brilliant question, and I have an answer. It is. It truly, truly is. Equestrian dressage, which I didn’t even know existed in the Olympics till 5 minutes ago, is when the horse and its rider memorize a routine, and perform it for a crowd. So it’s basically synchronized swimming, but without the water and creepy makeup. The mere thought of this being an Olympic sport is absurd. I mean come on, I feel like the Olympics have gone from being about track and field (not including speed walking) and games like soccer and baseball to table tennis and equestrian dressage. I play baseball, and will admit, it is boring to watch at times, but I would much rather prefer to sit down and watch a game of baseball, than have to watch a horse running around and jumping over poles. The only real reason I can see for putting this in the Olympics, is for comic relief.