Olympic Options

Oh, Olympics.  I watch you on television, but never developed any aspirations to participate in your games.  I have friends who have been members of both national teams (in non-Olympic years) and Olympic teams – in addition to others who pursued that dream, yet did not achieve it.  My dreams and goals are different, making me content to eat tacos and commentate.

While eating and viewing last week, an interesting question came up: If you were an Olympian, what would your summer and winter sports be?  In this round of hypothetical questions, we were not considering our skills, experiences, or body types – i.e. the 5’10” girl could totally have said gymnast, while the 97-lber could participate in shot put.  We all agreed that a much easier question would have been: What Olympic sport would you NOT want to compete in?  Hands down: figure skating (winter) and gymnastics (summer) for me.  First, I have this absolute aversion to the idea of glitter and suspect I would be allergic to wearing it.  The absence of ice cream and presence of 5am practices in these sports also turns me way off to them.  From a practical perspective, I’ve always preferred to participate in sports that are objectively judged.  I have a strong sense of fair play and to lose points because my smile wasn’t perky enough would really piss me off.  Like, I just threw my entire body several feet in the air, rotated it 1080 degrees, and you’re concerned with the depth of my dimples?  That would not go over well with me.

Like I said above, I am also not interested in my life becoming totally encompassed by an Olympic dream – I have other dreams and goals.  Even in the hypothetical situations game, it’s impossible for me not to consider the impact being an athlete of such would have on my life, along with the lives of the husband, kid(s), and dog I would like have.  After much debate this week and posing this question to others, here is what I have come up with:

Summer Sport: Archery.  This barely edged out modern pentathlon.  The concept of MP is awesome to me, the individual aspects pretty baller, and I’d totally enjoy referring to myself as a pentathlete.  The training consists of a nice balance of solitary and group activities.  Sounds pretty great until I remembered how much I hate running.  I absolutely loathe running.  Ugh.  I’ll run if I’m being chased by a hungry bear.  But!  Archery does not require running!  It’s a skill that is both practical and timeless.  It gives one a reasonable excuse to have deadly weapons around, in the event of an invasion by zombies or the religious right – without seeming like a paranoid delusionist.  “Oh, I normally wouldn’t have bows and arrows in various rooms, but you know – that whole ‘Olympics’ thing I do every four years.”  You also get to tell the TSA people how it is: You’re questioning the deadly weapon in my luggage?  Perhaps you don’t recognize me, the famous Olympic archer, from my many endorsements.

Winter Sport: I’m torn here – initially I was all set to tap “ski jumper” because that looks awesome and fun and I love wearing warm clothes.  Then, I googled a list of winter sports and discovered skeleton.  I apparently did not watch enough Olympics, um, ever, because I had no idea this event existed.  It is an event that is reminiscent of something I might have done drunkenly in college (with a tray “borrowed” from the dining hall) – except here it is a legitimate sport.  And it looks fun!  The spiked shoes appeal to me too.  You don’t like the depth of my dimples after my run?  BAM!


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